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THE final bell rang for the world’s only 8-division boxing champion, Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao.

In an emotional post on Facebook, Pacquiao announced what everyone in the boxing world have already anticipated and called for him to do, which is to hang up his mighty boxing gloves.

After a long and illustrious ring career, his body had been battered by a relentless string of foes on the ring, all 62 of them in a span of 26 fruitful years in professional boxing, eight of which he lost, but most of which he won in spectacular, unforgettable fashion.

The retirement was also expected, given the fact that he is embarking on fighting on another ring, more of a political one, which signals another chapter in his life.

He thanked a host of individuals and families who have become a part his boxing days, including his supporters ever since he started and of course, his own family, those who have stood by him in victory and in defeat until this final day of his boxing career.

He likewise thanked his millions of adoring fans here and around the world, those who would gladly part with their hard-earned money just to watch him fight. Here in the Philippines, he is perhaps the only boxer–or athlete–known to bring down crime rates whenever he steps on the ring.

Communities everywhere along the Philippine Islands gather their meager resources just to pay for astronomic pay-per-view costs here in the country. In coliseums, public parks, cinemas, even churches and other makeshift venues, sponsors host live streaming of his fights for a fee. There, one can hear the deafening roar of an adoring throng that reverberates and equates to a Magnitude 7 tremor whenever his fists hit an opponent’s face with the intensity of Mjolnir, the thunder god Thor’s mighty hammer.

Literally, everything stops when the dynamic and unstoppable Pacquiao fights. For now, a grateful nation, to whom Pacquiao brought fame and honor, thanks one of its most famous sons, for putting the Philippines in the global sports scene.

He may have lost in his last fight but in the hearts and minds of many, Pacquiao will remain a winner.

I just heard the final bell. Tapos na ang boxing.”

(PHOTO CREDIT: gmanetwork.com)

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