Emmanuel Dapidran Pacquiao is the only boxer in history to win a world championship in eight different divisions.
Born in Kibawe, Bukidnon, Philippines, on this date in 1978, he is the fourth of six children. The family moved to General Santos City–about three hours north of Kibawe—where young Manny played baseball and attended Saavedra Saway Elementary School. Pacquiao’s parents divorced when he was in sixth grade and he had to drop out of high school when his mother could no longer support him. At 14, Pacquiao boarded a ship and headed for Manila where he took up boxing and was provided room and board after making the Philippine national amateur boxing team. The left-handed Pacquiao compiled an amateur record of 60-4 before deciding to turn pro at age 16.
Manny Pacquiao was 4’11” tall and weighed 98 pounds when he stepped in the ring as a light flyweight against Edmund Enting Ignacio for his first professional fight on January 22, 1995. The minimum weight requirement for light flyweight is 105 pounds, so Pacquiao put weights in his trunks during weigh in to make up the seven pound differential. He beat Ignacio in a four-round unanimous decision and went on to win his next ten bouts before Rustico Torrecampo knocked Pacquiao out on February 9, 1996. Following the loss, he moved up to flyweight [112 pounds], where he won the Flyweight title in his 21st professional fight. He moved up a division after losing the Flyweight title to Medgoen Singsurat and became International Super Bantamweight champion with a second round knockout of Reynante Jamili on December 18, 1999. Over the course of the next four years, “Pac Man” went 10-0-1 while claiming the WBC, WBO and IBF Super Bantamweight crowns. In November of 2003, he won The Ring Featherweight [126 pounds] title and, 22 months later, Pacquiao became the WBC Super Featherweight champion—his fourth weight division world title.
On June 28, 2008, Pacquiao knocked out David Diaz in the ninth round to win the WBC Lightweight title, becoming the first Filipino fighter ever to win a world title at lightweight. Eleven months later, he dropped Ricky Hatton in the second round to win the Light Welterweight crown before stopping Miguel Cotto in November of 2009 to become world Welterweight champion. “The Filipino Slugger” set his sights on the vacant light middleweight [154 pounds] title and moved up to take on Antonio Margarito just one year after the Cotto fight. Despite coming into the ring 17 pounds lighter than his opponent, Pacquiao claimed his record eighth division title in a unanimous 12-round decision. On November 24, 2013, he beat Brandon Rios to claim the vacant WBO Welterweight title before successfully defending twice. In May of 2015, Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather stepped into the ring at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas for the “Fight of the Century.” At stake were the WBO, WBA, WBC, Lineal and The Ring Welterweight titles. Mayweather won a 12-round unanimous decision in a bout that did not live up to the hype but generated in excess of $500 million in gross worldwide receipts.
Manny Pacquiao has compiled a career record of 57-6-2 with 38 wins by knockout. Standing just over 5’5” tall, he has fought in every weight class from 105 to 154 pounds and has won world titles in eight divisions. Mr. Pacquiao was named “Fighter of the Decade” for the 2000s by the BWAA, WBC and WBO. He is a three time “Fighter of the Year” and won “Best Fighter” ESPY Awards in 2009 and 2011. Pacquiao was long rated as the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world and is considered one of the greatest in the history of the “Sweet Science,” combining impeccable footwork, speed and quick hands in a career that has spanned two decades. In May of 2010, Mr. Pacquiao was elected to the House of Representatives in the Philippines and was re-elected in 2013. He has appeared in nine films and has cut two albums as a recording artist.