Pacquiao was born in Kibawe, Bukidnon, Mindanao and currently resides in his home town General Santos City, South Cotabato, Philippines. He is married to Jinkee Pacquiao and they have four children. He has finished only elementary education. Despite such educational attainment, he recently took high school equivalency test and he passed.
Pacquiao started his professional boxing career at the age of 16 at 106 lbs (Light Flyweight). His early fights took place in small local venues and were shown on Vintage Sports’ Blow by Blow, an evening boxing show. His professional debut was a 4-round bout against Edmund “Enting” Ignacio on January 22, 1995, which Pacquiao won via decision, becoming an instant star of the program. Close friend Mark Penaflorida’s death in 1994 spurred the young Pacquiao to pursue a professional boxing career.
His weight increased from 106 to 113 lbs before losing in his 12th bout against Rustico Torrecampo via a third-round knockout (KO). Pacquiao had not made the weight. So he was forced to use heavier gloves than Torrecampo, thereby putting Pacquiao at a disadvantage.
Shortly after the Torrecampo fight, Pacquiao settled at 112 lbs, winning the WBC Flyweight title over Chatchai Sasakul in the eighth round only to lose it in his second defense against Medgoen Singsurat, also known as Medgoen 3K Battery, via a third-round knockout on a bout held at Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand. Technically, Pacquiao lost the belt at the scales as he surpassed the weight limit of 112 lbs (51 kg).
Following his loss to Singsurat, Pacquiao gained weight anew. This time, Pacquiao went to the Super Bantamweight division of 122 lbs (55 kg), where he picked up the WBC International Super Bantamweight title. He defended the title five times before his chance for a world title fight came.
Pacquiao’s big break came on June 23, 2001, against IBF Super Bantamweight champion Lehlohonolo Ledwaba. Pacquiao stepped into the fight as a late replacement and won the fight by technical knockout to become the IBF Super Bantamweight champion on a bout held at MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada. He defended this title five times and fought to a sixth-round draw against Agapito Sánchez in a bout that was stopped early after Pacquiao received 2 headbutts.
The Fight that brought Pacquiao to stardom:
Pacquiao went on to defend his title four times with expert training from Freddie Roach at the Wild Card Gym, improving his hand speed and mental preparation before the match that many consider to have defined his career, a bout against Marco Antonio Barrera. Pacquiao, moving up in weight and in his first fight ever in the Featherweight division, brought his power with him and defeated Barrera via a TKO in the 11th round at the Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas. Although this fight was not recognized as a title fight by any sanctioning bodies, Pacquiao was recognized as world champion by Ring Magazine after his victory, and he held that title until relinquishing it in 2005.
In The Ring Magazine, Pacquiao (45-3-2) remained at the top of the Junior Lightweight division (130 lbs). He had been in the ratings for 108 weeks. Pacquiao was also at No. 2 in the pound-for-pound category behind former Welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr.
On November 13, 2007, he was honored by the WBC as Champ Emeritus during its 45th Annual World Convention held at the Manila Hotel.
On November 20, 2007, José Nuñez, manager of WBO Super Featherweight champion Joan Guzmán, accused Pacquiao’s handler Bob Arum of evading a match between the two boxers to protect Pacquiao. Guzmán went as far as to directly call out Pacquiao at the postfight press conference of the Pacquiao-Barrera rematch in front of a stunned crowd at the Mandalay Bay Events Center’s media room in Las Vegas.
The 240-member House of Representatives of the Philippines, on August 7, 2008, issued a Resolution, sponsored by South Cotabato Rep. Darlene Antonino-Custodio, which recognized Pacquiao as “a people’s champ” – “for his achievements and in appreciation of the honor and inspiration he has been bringing … to the Filipino people.” He received a plaque from Speaker Prospero Nograles.
On July, 2008, it was announced that Pacquiao would be the flag bearer of the Philippines at the 2008 Summer Olympics. He became the first Filipino Olympic non-participant to be Team Philippines’ flag-bearer during the August 8 opening ceremonies of the 2008 Summer Olympics at the Beijing National Stadium. Swimmer Miguel Molina, 2005 Southeast Asian Games’ Best Male Athlete, yielded the honor to Pacquiao, upon Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s request to national sports officials on the Philippines at the 2008 Summer Olympics
WBC Lightweight title
On June 28, 2008, at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Pacquiao defeated David Díaz via ninth-round knockout to become the WBC Lightweight champion. With the victory, Pacquiao became the only Filipino and Asian boxer to win four major titles in four weight classes and also became the first Filipino fighter to ever win a world title at Lightweight. The fight ended at 2:23 of the ninth round and was viewed by 8,362 spectators. Bob Arum announced that Pacquiao is most likely to fight November 15 versus 130-lb Venezuelan champion Edwin Valero or Humberto Soto in Planet Hollywood, and he also mentioned the name of WBA, WBO, and IBF Lightweight champion Nate Campbell. “I can fight in November,” Pacquiao stated, “Who I fight is the job of my promoter (Bob Arum).” Díaz had his best payday, $850,000, and Pacquiao earned at least $3 million.
Bob Arum reported that the Pacquiao-David Díaz fight which made $ 12.5-M (250,000 pay-per-view subscriptions at $ 49.95 each), paled in comparison to the 400,000 in the Márquez showdown. The sales reached over $20 million. Pacquiao’s 3 classic fights with Érik Morales earned a combined sales of 1 million pay-per-view hits. After HBO and Top Rank get their share, Pacquiao and Díaz will get theirs based on the contract, that is, in addition to the $ 3 million contract pay. Official records revealed an attendance of only 8,362 tickets of the seating capacity of 12,000.
Meanwhile, WBC president Don José Sulaimán clarified that Pacquiao is not a 5-division but 4-division world champion, because the November 2003 Barrera fight was a non-title bout.
Holding both the WBC Super Featherweight and Lightweight titles following the win, Pacquiao decided to vacate his Super Featherweight title in July 2008 in order to defend his Lightweight crown.
Pacquiao vs. De La Hoya
Main article: The Dream Match
On December 6, 2008, Pacquiao faced Oscar De La Hoya at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, in a fight called Dream Match. Pacquiao asserted himself over De La Hoya from the first round till the eighth round. De La Hoya’s corner threw in the towel before the start of the 9th round. Pacquiao won via technical knockout.
Presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank, Inc., the bout was scheduled as a 12-round, non-title fight contested at the 147-pound Welterweight limit. Although Pacquiao went into the fight widely recognized as the leading pound-for-pound boxer in the world, some boxing pundits had speculated that 147 pounds could be too far above his natural weight against the larger De La Hoya.
Pacquiao received $15 to 30 million (share of the pay-per-view), plus a guaranteed amount.
Tickets reportedly sold out just hours after they went on sale. The total gate revenues were said to be nearly $17 million dollars. That amount apparently gave the bout the second largest gate revenue in boxing history.
Pacquiao vs. Hatton
Main article: Ricky Hatton vs. Manny Pacquiao
On May 2, 2009, Pacquiao fought Ricky Hatton for the IBO and Ring Magazine Light Welterweight titles at MGM Grand Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The fight was originally placed in jeopardy due to disputes with both camps over the fight purse money. Eventually, the money issue was settled and the fight went on as scheduled. HBO aired the contest.
Pacquiao started the fight strong, knocking down a sluggish Hatton twice in the first round. At the bell, Hatton seemed to have re-grouped, only to get knocked down for the third time 2:59 into the second round, awarding Pacquiao the win by KO.
Pacquiao vs. Cotto
On November 14, Pacquiao is slated to face WBO welterweight champion Miguel Ángel Cotto of Puerto Rico, at the MGM Grand Las Vegas. Even before Ricky Hatton’s fight against Paulie Malignaggi last year, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum stated his desire for Pacquiao to fight Cotto. Pacquiao then gave Arum the go signal to arrange the fight after Cotto won a hard-fought decision against Joshua Clottey at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Meanwhile, current WBA welterweight champion “Sugar” Shane Mosley tried to lure Pacquiao to fight him. Mosley even offered Pacquiao for a fight at junior welterweight (140 pounds), Pacquiao’s weight class as of the moment. However, after unsuccessful attempts, Mosley shifted his focus to a fight against WBC welterweight champion Andre Berto.
Among the details that were agreed upon for the Pacquiao-Cotto fight were the weight (both camps agreed to the 145 pound catchweight) and the purse (Pacquiao will get the 65% share of PPV buys, as compared to Cotto’s 35% share). In addition, Pacquiao will fight Cotto for the WBO Welterweight title.
Manny Pacquiao, a boxing hero, pound for pound king of boxing…
A real sportsman who makes the Filipino proud worldwide…