Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao has officially retired from boxing as he looks to focus on his campaign to be president of the Philippines.
Pacquiao, an eight-division world champion and a senator in the Philippines, announced his retirement from the sport in a post on social media.
“As I hang up my boxing gloves, I would like to thank the whole world, especially the Filipino people for supporting Manny Pacquiao. Goodbye boxing,” he said.
“It is difficult for me to accept that my time as a boxer is over. Today I am announcing my retirement.”
Pacquiao steps away from the ring after a career spanning 26 years, which included 72 fights with 62 wins, eight losses and two draws.
He won 39 bouts through knockout and 23 by decision. He also won 12 world titles and is the only fighter in history to win titles in eight different weight classes.
His retirement followed a disappointing loss in his first fight in more than two years, to Cuban boxer Yorenis Ugas in Nevada on 12 August.
Ugas beat Pacquiao by a unanimous decision, retaining the WBA welterweight title.
“Thank you for changing my life, when my family was desperate, you gave us hope, you gave me the chance to fight my way out of poverty,” Pacquiao said in the video.
“Because of you, I was able to inspire people all over the world. Because of you, I have been given the courage to change more lives.
“I will never forget what I have done and accomplished in my life that I can’t imagine. I just heard the final bell. The boxing is over. “
He has previously hinted at retirement and is expected to set his sights on the political battlefield.
Earlier this month, he accepted his political party’s nomination and declared that he will run for the Philippines presidency in the May 2022 elections.
He has accused Rodrigo Duterte’s administration of making corruption worse in the Philippines and promised to fight poverty, warning corrupt politicians they will soon end up in jail.
Pacquiao, who is often referred to as Pacman, People’s Champ and the National Fist, left his impoverished home in the southern Philippines as a teenager and stowed away on a ship to Manila, the capital.
He made his professional boxing debut as a junior flyweight in 1995, aged 16 and has fought his way out of poverty to become one of the world’s highest-paid athletes.
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