As boxing legend Manny Pacquiao officially hung up his gloves, he paid tribute and gave thanks to the people, who contributed to his success in the sport.
The eight-division world champion and Philippine senator first paid his respects to his uncle Sardo Mejia, Pacquiao's first trainer, who encouraged him to pursue greatness in the sport.
“Siya ang nagturo sa akin ng boxing. Siya ang nagmulat sa aking kaisipan,” said the 41-year-old Pacquiao following a 14-minute video that was posted on Facebook yesterday.
Pacquiao mentioned Mejia as he announced his retirement from the ring, more than a week after he spoke of his decision to leave the sport during a 27-minute, one-on-one discussion on "Toni Talks", Toni Gonzaga’s vlog on Youtube.
He first talked about his retirement last Sept. 20, hours after accepting a nomination from his political allies to run for the presidency of the Philippines next year.
It was with Mejia’s guidance that Pacquiao was able to get his first taste of victory as a 12-year-old fighter when he fought it out with a 16-year-old amateur boxer in General Santos City.
Pacquiao ended a 26-year career with 72 fights, boasting of 62 wins, absorbing eight losses and two draws. Of those 62 wins, 39 were won by knockout and 23 by decision.
His success allowed him to earn 12 world titles.
Pacquiao’s decision to quit boxing came after his defeat to Yordenis Ugas in Paradise, Nevada on Aug. 21.
Ugas won over Pacquiao by unanimous decision to keep his World Boxing Association welterweight title.
Pacquiao also paid respects to the national boxing team, even if he was unable to make the grade and pursue his dream of making it to the Olympics someday.
Then, there’s the Davao del Sur team, which took him into their stable of amateur fighters.
In his desire to pursue a professional career, Pacquiao paid homage to the families that took care of him when he came to Manila.
Pacquiao mentioned Leopoldo Correa for bringing him to Manila to pursue his pro career and manager Rod Nazario for taking him to the United States and introducing him to trainer Freddie Roach.
Roach, according to Pacquiao, was more than a trainer to him and considered him like family.
Pacquiao also thanked boxing personalities Alex Ariza, Emil Romano and Justine Fortune, along with the Penalosa brothers, Gerry and Manny.
One of his closest buddies in training Buboy Fernandez was also honored, along with promoter Bob Arum, as his outfit Top Rank negotiated and staged most of the fights that he got involved in.
Then, Pacquiao expressed his gratefulness to promoters Sean Gibbons, lawyer Jeng Gacal and Bob Gacal, Tom Brown and Fred Sternberg, saying that it was with their help that “he was able to stay relevant towards the end of his career.”