With the impending decision of Manny Pacquiao to retire after the April 9 brawl with Timothy Bradley, boxing aficionados will look back on the biggest contribution of Pinoy ring icon in Philippine boxing.
Not only Filipinos, but people around the globe will surely miss his modest personality inside and outside the ring.
His tenacity and level of confidence when he started as an amateur, up to the very first time he turned pro can’t be matched easily just like that.
He truly inspired all aspiring boxers in the way he treated all the title fights that towed the sport to the top of the world.
The ‘Pambansang Kamao’ will be remembered as one of the most decorated boxers the Philippines has ever produced.
There’s no doubt he deserves to be in the ranks of the greatest with the likes of Anthony Villanueva and Gabriel ‘Flash’ Elorde’ to name a few.
Although his last fight against the big mouth Floyd Mayweather ended in big disappointment, in the heart of millions of Filipino people he’s still the king of the ring.
As a politician and athlete, he was able to split his duty from these tough tasks while preparing for the big tussle against Mayweather.
No one will ever forget Pacquiao’s monumental victories against prominent fighters starting with Marco Antonio Barrera, Eric Morales, Juan Manuel Marquez, Oscar dela Hoya, Miguel Cotti, Antonio Margarito, Shane Mosley and Bradley.
The way he beat these fighters exemplifies his character as a true warrior not only in boxing but in real life.
The 37-year old Sarangani congressman admitted recently that he would hang up his gloves after the Bradley fight.
Who will hug the limelight after Pacquiao? A lot of promising boxers will be eying his accomplishments, no doubt about that. But the big question is, can they surpass the glory days of Pacman.
Upcoming fighters like Nonito Donaire, Dodie ‘Boy’ Penalosa, Jr. are top among the lists.
But the way Pacquiao gained his popularity inside the ring will never be the same compared to the two boxers.
It’s up to Donaire and Penalosa Jr. on how they will mold themselves to be the ‘people’s champion’ like Pacquiao now.