Metro Manila · Manny "Pac-Man" Pacquiao (* 17 December 1978)
Philippine boxer Manny Pacquiao is the first eight-division world champion named by the Boxing Writers Association of America in 2000 as the “Fighter of the Decade”. Growing up in a small town in Bukidnon – one of the country’s far flung provinces in the south - Manny Pacquiao and his siblings know how it is to be poor.
Pacquiao’s parents went on separate ways when the would-be pound for pound king was in sixth grade. Since life was difficult, the little Manny sold cigarettes and doughnuts to help his mother make ends meet. He left Bukidnon at an early age hopping on a ferry going to the capital with nothing but the clothes on his back and his dreams in tow. Pacquiao went from job to job –being a construction worker for a time and later on a helper in a bakery.
When he started working near a gym, he saw men training in boxing. The sport caught the young man’s interest so he started training as well. At first the fights were small and Manny had to settle for pennies. He made his debut in professional boxing in 1995 and the rest, as they say, is history. Pacquiao is now one of the richest men in the country and one of the highest paid athletes in the world. He recently ran for office in the lone district of Saranggani and is now a member of the Lower House, the Philippine House of Representatives.
Manny Pacquiao successfully defended his WBO welterweight title against Chris Algieri at the Cotai Arena in the Venetian in Macau on November 23.
The victory of Philippine boxing legend Manny Pacquiao on Sunday has been widely greeted as an uplifting win for the whole country, and a much-needed break after weeks of bad news following Typhoon Yolanda.