To say that Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao has come a long way would be an understatement. From being a young boy who had nothing but fighting spirit, Pacquiao was able to achieve his big dreams of becoming a world boxing champion and more!
In celebration of his 26th year as a professional boxer, the now-senator Pacquiao proudly looked back on his achievements in the field of sports in a recent social media post.
He wrote, “26 years. 62 wins. 39 KOs. 12 major world titles. I had to punch my way to victory every time. Before that, I had to train. More days than that, bugbog ako.”
Punching for his dreams
Pacman’s incredible rise to sports stardom despite the odds is known to many. His life story has been a favorite subject in interviews and dramatized in films.
In his social media accounts, he often shares throwback pics that remind his followers that he grew up in a life of poverty and hardship in General Santos City.
Pacquiao was first drawn to boxing because of the P50 prize money. At that time, one kilo of rice was priced at P6. This became his motivation as he wanted to help with the family’s expenses.
It was an uncle who explained to the young Pacquiao what boxing is. He wrote: “I didn’t know anything about boxing. My uncle told me that boxing has a world champion, a Philippine champion…
“Pinapanood namin ‘yung laban ni Mike Tyson noong araw. Sabi sa akin, ‘Ano kaya maging ganyan ka, may belt ka rin, makilala ka. Mag-champion ka sa buong mundo.'”
Those words became real. He became a sports hero who wowed even Hollywood stars and other famous athletes. His success inside the boxing ring also brought immeasurable honor to the country. He has helped placed the Philippines on the world map. Just mention the name “Pacman” to any foreigner and for sure, it will lead to a conversation about the country.
Becoming a boxing icon
The length of Pacquiao’s career in boxing is no joke. A feat made even more admirable given the difficulty of training and the pain his body is subjected to every time he steps inside the boxing ring.
But how did Pacquiao continue to do all this? It’s a question he also answered in his post.
“My secret is speed — in my punches and pain recovery. Most of all, it’s my family and friends, my fans, my coach and team, and my partner Ibuprofen + Paracetamol (Alaxan FR), I have been with in the fight since 1995,” he said.
Alaxan FR is a pain reliever manufactured by Unilab, Inc. (Unilab). It is a combination of Ibuprofen and Paracetamol that fight body pains, something Pacquiao knows too well and continues to overcome.
It’s interesting to know that Pacquiao has not forgotten those who helped him when he was just starting.
The term #LabanLang in Pacquiao’s post is fitting. Aside from being the tagline of the said drug, it is also his life’s mantra. Pacman continues to fight through the challenges in life.
Meanwhile, there is still no official announcement about the date of Pacquiao’s fight with the former two-weight UFC champion Conor McGregor but many are already waiting for it.
Pacquaio’s last fight was in July 2020 in Vegas against Keith Thurman where he emerged victorious and took home the WBA welterweight crown.
On January 25, news broke out about his possible fight with junior lightweight contender Ryan Garcia who posted about it on his social media account. But Pacquiao’s camp said that he’s focusing on his duties and responsibilities as a senator, and helping fellow Filipinos recover from the pandemic.
Meanwhile, whether or not the long-awaited match pushes through, one thing is certain, Pacquiao will continue to fight — for himself, for his family and for the Philippines.
As one of his recent posts on Instagram said, “To all those that doubted me, thank you! You were the fuel that drove me to be better.”