He has been recently declared as Congressman of Saranggani after running unopposed in his wife’s hometown. Indeed, Manny has gone a long way from the emaciated teenager who only entered boxing to feed his mother and siblings.
Making Boxing Records
In the course of Manny’s career, he’s won 54 fights and 38 of them are knock outs. He made a name in boxing when he won the Light Flyweight division after defeating Edmund “Enting” Ignacio when he was only 16 years old. Since then, he kept winning all his fights except for the 1996 bout against Rustico Torrecampo where he was not only knocked out but also penalized for going over the 111 lbs. specified weight by wearing heavier gloves.
More wins came after that with occasional losses until he crossed paths with Freddie Roach, the man who trained the likes of Mickey Rourke. Seeing that he could punch but is not fighting intelligently, Freddie took him under his wing and turned him into one of the greatest athletes in boxing history.
He went on to win division after division until he has reached the peak of success no other boxer has ever achieved. He held eight titles from different divisions in an unprecedented fashion. Manny has been awarded the Order of Sikatuna with the rank of Datu (Grand Cross) with Gold distinction by the Philippine government. He is the first athlete to receive such award which has only been conferred to heads of state and diplomats.
From nothing, Manny Pacquiao is now a billionaire in the Philippines and is currently valued at 34 million dollars by Forbes.
Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao, born on the 17th of December 1978, is the second child of Rosalio Pacquiao and Dionesia Dapigran. Dionesia has two kids from her previous husband who deserted her while she was pregnant with their second child. She met Rosalio and decided to move on with her life. They had four children: Isidra, Manny, Bobby, and Rogelio. But like her first husband, Rosalio also abandoned her and their children when Manny was in his last year in elementary. She had no choice but to eke out a living to feed all her six children. Dionesia would cook rice delicacies and peddle it in their neighborhood in Kibawe, Bukidnon, Philippines. She also has a small shack where she sold snacks and whatnots.
Eating three times a day became a struggle for the family. Poverty distracted Manny from his high school studies. By that time, the family had relocated to General Santos City. The town was teeming with boxing wannabes and lots of boxing gyms could be found in their area. He decided to quit school when he was 13 years old in the hope of easing his mother’s burden. Before that, he has rounded up in one of the boxing gyms where he met other teenagers who came from poor families like him and saw boxing as a ticket out of poverty.
Manny’s teacher would always complain to Dionesia that Manny’s school attendance suffered because of his intense interest in boxing. No matter how hard Dionesia tried in dissuading Manny from going back to the boxing gym, her implorations fell on her son’s deaf ears. Manny knew that he’s meant for boxing and he would do everything to develop his skill and become the best.
The following year that he stopped going to school altogether, he decided to leave General Santos City for Metro Manila, the capital city of the Philippines. He had no money and his mother didn’t even know that he left. Manny just informed his family of his whereabouts when he already set foot in Manila—a strange place for a young boy of 14 who had no proper training and yet determined to make it big in the world of boxing.
Surviving the Toughest Trials
Manny went with a group of teenage boys who were convinced by the person who brought them there that they could most likely make a name in boxing if they go to the capital city. They were not given proper accommodations and Manny was forced to sleep on the ring, stained by the sweat and blood of boxers who fought there in the morning. Months passed and no fight came for Manny. He would often send word to Dionesia, apologizing for not being able to send money.
In order to survive, Manny and some of his companions had to scavenge for metals and sold it to junk shops. Manny could have just headed back home and forget about his dreams, but he didn’t. He decided to stay, thinking that he’s got nothing to lose anyway. He was given odd fights here and there where he earned 100 pesos per fight.
His first big break came when Manny was 16 years old. He was pitted against Edmund “Enting” Ignacio who then held the Light Flyweight belt. Manny defeated Enting in a unanimous decision, earning him his first professional boxing title in 1995. That fantastic win was followed by ten more in the same year alone. After he defeated two more boxers, Pinoy Montejo and Rocky Palma, he was commissioned to fight for Blow by Blow, a local sports television boxing program that ran weekly. His first televised fight was against Dele Decierto, which ended in a technical knockout. He went on to defeat six more, namely Rolando Toyogon, unanimous decision; Rudolfo Fernandez, technical knockout; Renato Mendones technical knockout; Lolito Laroa unanimous decision; Armando Rocil, knockout; and Acasio Simbajon unanimous decision. He won another fight against Lito Torrejos in January 6, 1996.
His winning streak was broken after being knocked out by Rustico Torrecampo the following month of the same year. It was found out that Manny was over the specified weight which was 111 lbs. He was then weighing 112 lbs. As penalty, he was made to wear heavier gloves which relatively slowed him down.
That taught him a very important lesson in boxing and has since then never violated boxing rules and requirements. His knockout proved to be just a minor setback for the hungry boxer that he was. He defeated three more Filipino fighters in the same year before fighting his first foreign opponent—an Indonesian boxer named Ippo Gala. Ippo was defeated and Manny was declared winner by a technical knockout. What followed was another match against a foreigner. This time it was Sung-Yul Lee of South Korea, who unfortunately shared Ippo’s fate after losing to Manny by a technical knockout.
The following year, 1997, he fought against six boxers—three of them foreigners—and was pronounced the winner. Out of the six, only one was decided unanimously in favor of him, the rest was either a technical knockout or a knockout.
The following year, Manny married Maria Geraldine "Jinkee" Jamora who was then 18 years old. They went steady for seven months before finally deciding to settle down. The two would eventually become proud parents to four children: Emmanuel "Jimuel" Jr., Michael Steven, Mary Divine Grace or "Princess," and Queen Elizabeth or "Queenie."
Making a Name in International Boxing
Winning match after match, it was clear to everyone who saw Manny in the ring that he’d go a long way. By 1998, he remained to be the Lightweight champion and managed to defend his Oriental and the Pacific Boxing Federation Flyweight title. But it was only the beginning of what would become an illustrious boxing career for Manny.
More success awaited him in 1998 after he defeated Thai boxer, Chatchai Sasakul, snatching the Lineal and World Boxing Title Council Flyweight titles. He successfully defended the titles the following year when he technically knocked out Gabriel Mira of Mexico. However, five months after his first defense, Manny lost the Lineal Flyweight title to Medgoen Singsurat of Thailand who knocked him out. It was only his second loss since he began his boxing career.
Before the year ended, though, Manny redeemed himself by winning the World Boxing Council International Super Bantamweight title after knocking out Reynante Jamili, a fellow Filipino boxer. Since that year until 2001, his fights had been to defend the title. He has successfully done so five times before his handler decided to take him to the United States because has he run out of opponents in Asia.
Meeting Freddie Roach
Manny arrived in the United States in 2001 without the assurance of bettering his boxing career. After being rejected by trainers and promoters, he and his handler decided to give the Wild Card Gym a try after hearing of two Filipino boxers training there.
Freddie Roach, a retired boxer suffering from Parkinson’s disease, owns the gym and indulged Manny into a round of mitts. Seeing and feeling his punch, Freddie was convinced that Manny has great potential. From then on, Freddie became Manny’s coach. Their relationship would eventually go beyond that as Manny saw in Freddie a father figure. In fact, Freddie calls Manny “son.” In their interview with Pierce Morgan, Freddie had this to say about his relationship with Manny:
"He's like a son to me. You know, he's—he was a young man when he first came to me. He comes to me for advice at times back then. And he's grown into a young man and now he makes his own decisions. And we're—we don't have those discussions that we once had. And I miss that a little bit, but, you know, again, he's grown up and he'll make his own decisions.
And, you know, this gym is just like—there's a lot of history here. I have an offer to open on Sundays just for—for people to come look at the gym and be a tourist attraction." (Source: CNN)
He successfully snatched the International Boxing Federation Super Bantamweight title from Lehlohonolo Ledwaba by a technical knockout. He defended the title and went on to win The Ring Featherweight title in 2003 against Marco Antonio Barrera. In 2005, he won World Boxing Council International Super Featherweight title. After three years, he won WBC and The Ring Super Featherweight titles. The following year, he won the The Ring & IBO Light Welterweight titles and the WBO & WBC Diamond Welterweight titles. In 2010, Manny was declared the WBC Light Middleweight title holder and in 2012 was handed the WBO 'Champion of the Decade' belt after winning eight titles in different divisions.
Next Fight in the Ring, in Congress, and Against Poverty
After two consecutive losses, Manny is scheduled to fight Brandon Ríos of the United States in Macau. The controversial match against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. did not push through despite negotiations. Manny refused being subjected to random blood tests before a fight as requested by Floyd to prove that he’s not using performance enhancement drugs. Floyd has no loss yet and many are looking forward to their match to see if Manny will be able to break his winning streak.
Manny and his wife Jinkee are now both into politics. Manny is currently the unopposed Saranggani Congressman, while Jinkee won the vice gubernatorial race against her opponents.
Since his change of heart concerning his faith, Manny got even more determined to do something about the state of his country. In order to become a more effective leader, he decided to go back to school and enrolled in the Notre Dame of Dadiangas University under the business management program. He has also registered to get a Certificate Course in Development, Legislation and Governance at the Development Academy of the Philippines – Graduate School of Public and Development Management.
Manny is known for his grand display of generosity. His relatives greatly benefited from his rise to fame and are now enjoying comfortable lives. Dionesia Pacquiao now owns her own mansion and is living a life she didn’t expect she’d be able to experience in her lifetime.
Before his fights, Manny would always pray not for triumph but for a good show. He also thinks that boxing is something that is used for entertainment. Since he became a born-again Christian under the tutelage of Pastor Jeric Soriano, Manny became more outspoken about his beliefs and even does Bible studies in his home in the Philippines and in the United States.
Manny rose from nothing to something because of dedication and commitment. Complacency is nowhere in his vocabulary and he has remained humble in spite of the meteoric success he is now enjoying.
Organizations and Programmes Supported
- PDP-LABAN/United Nationalist Alliance
- Liberal Party
- Nacionalista Party
- People's Champ Movement
- Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan
- Liga Pilipinas
- MP-Gensan Warriors
- Boston Celtics
- United Nationalist Alliance
Awards and Achievements
- 2001: Defeated IBF Super Bantamweight title holder Lehlohonolo Ledwaba
- 2003: Defeated featherweight champion Marco Antonio Barrera
- 2003: First Filipino and Asian to become three-division world champion
- 2003: Conferred the Presidential Medal of Merit by Gloria Mcapagal-Arroyo, then incumbent Philippine President
- 2003: Became the first recipient of the Congressional Medal of Achievement
- 2005: Won the WBC International Super Featherweight title after defeating Hector Velazquez
- 2006: Only boxer to knockout Erik Morales
- 2006: Defeated two-time Super Bantamweight Champion Óscar Larios
- 2006: Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo bestowed on him the Order of Lakandula with the rank of "Champion for Life"
- 2006: Named "Fighter of the Year" by The Ring and BWAA
- 2006: Entered military as reservist with the rank of "Sergeant" and then became a Master Sergeant before the year ended
- 2006: Named the Sugar Ray Robinson Fighter of the Year
- 2007: Defeated Jorge Solís
- 2007: Defeated Marco Antonio Barrera again
- 2007: Stayed in The Ring Magazine's top super featherweight division for 108 weeks
- 2007: Honored by the World Boxing Council as Emeritus Champion
- 2008: Defeated Marco Antonio Barrera for the third time
- 2008: Named "Fighter of the Year" by The Ring and BWAA
- 2008: First Filipino and Asian to become a four-division world champion
- 2008: Won the WBC Lightweight title after defeating David Diaz
- 2008: First Filipino and Asian to become a five-division world champion
- 2008: Officially declared as the "People’s Champ"
- 2008: Defeated the six-division world champion Oscar De La Hoya
- 2008: His fight with De La Hoya had the second largest gate revenue in boxing history: almost 17 million dollars
- 2008: Became an "Officer" of the Armed Forces of the Philippines
- 2008: Named the Sugar Ray Robinson Fighter of the Year
- 2008: First Filipino Olympic non-participant to be Team Philippines’ flag-bearer
- 2008: Appeared in the cover of Reader's Digest's November issue
- 2008: Named Sports Illustrated Boxer of the Year
- 2008: Received the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Honorary Award for Sports Excellence
- 2008-2009: Named ESPN Star's Champion of Champions
- 2009: Defeated Ricky Hatton
- 2009: Second man in boxing history to become six-division world champion
- 2009: Hatton knockout was declared Knockout of the Year by The Ring magazine
- 2009: Defeated Miguel Cotto
- 2009: Became the first seven-division world champion in boxing history
- 2009: Became the first recipient of the WBC Diamond Championship belt
- 2009: Conferred the Order of Sikatuna with the rank of Datu (Grand Cross) with Gold distinction only awarded to heads of state and diplomats
- 2009: Named "Fighter of the Year" by The Ring and BWAA
- 2009: Received Best Fighter ESPY Award
- 2009: Given the special rank of Senior Master Sergeant then became the Command Sergeant Major of the 15th Ready Reserve Division
- 2009: Named the Sugar Ray Robinson Fighter of the Year
- 2009: Named by TIME as one of the world's most influential people
- 2009: Included in Forbes' annual Celebrity 100 list
- 2009: Appeared in TIME magazine cover for November issue
- 2009: Named Sports Illustrated Fighter of the Year
- 2010: Defeated Joshua Clottey
- 2010: Defeated Antonio Margarito
- 2010: Named "Fighter of the Decade" for the 2000s by the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA), World Boxing Council (WBC) and World Boxing Organization (WBO)
- 2010: Elected as Congressman of Sarangani, Philippines
- 2010: Ranked 25th in Yahoo! Sports Boxing's Most Influential
- 2010: Ranked 85th in Bleacher Report Most Exciting Athletes of All Time
- 2011: Defeated Shane Mosley
- 2011: Received Best Fighter ESPY Award
- 2011: Received the Gabriel "Flash" Elorde Memorial "Quintessential Athlete" Award
- 2012: The Ring tied him with Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the Number 2 spot as pound-for-pound boxer
- 2013: Number 14 in the list of highest paid athletes in the world
- First and only eight-division world champion
- Won ten world titles
- First to win the lineal championship in four different weight classes
- Named one of the Top 10 highest paid athletes in the world (2008 to 2010)
- ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Sporting Life, Yahoo! Sports, About.com, BoxRec and The Ring's best pound-for-pound boxer in the world
- Now a Lieutenant Colonel in the Reserve Force of the Philippine Army
- Appeared in movies
- Featured in video games
- First Filipino athlete to appear on a postage stamp
- Owns MP-Gensan Warriors, a basketball team
- Honorary member of the Boston Celtics
- Endorser of Nike and San Miguel beer
- 2009: Conferred the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humanities by the Southwestern University Cebu City, Philippines
Wikipedia (Manny Pacquiao)
Bio True Story (Manny Pacquiao Biography)
Boxing Insider (Manny Pacquiao Media Conference Call Transcript)
The Boxing Oracle (Manny Pacquiao Call Transcript)
Rappler (Pacquiao Set to Return to Congress, Wife Joins politics)
Inquirer Libre (Dionesia Pacquiao and Her Story)
Forbes (The World's Highest-Paid Athletes 2013: Behind The Numbers)