Manny Pacquiao profile: From living on the streets, to the richest fight in boxing history
Manny Pacquiao faces Floyd Mayweather on Saturday night in the richest fight in boxing history, but the 36-year-old’s biggest battles have not been constrained to the ring.
The fourth of six siblings, Pacquiao, left home in General Santos City to live on the streets aged 12. His long-term trainer, Freddie Roach, has said that the shocking reason Pacquiao ran away from home is because his father cooked the family dog.
While living on the streets, Pacquiao made what money he could by selling doughnuts.
“Manny ran away from home after his father ate his dog and he lived on the street, where he bought doughnuts at a doughnut store and then sold each one for a nickel more to survive,” Roach has revealed. “He slept in a cardboard box. He fought his way through all this, and look at the man he is today.”
He moved to Manila a couple of years later and boxed for the Philippine national boxing team, where his room and board were paid for by the government.
IN THE RING
In 1995, ‘Pac-Man’ started his professional career at light-flyweight in the Philippines aged 16. He won his first 11 bouts, but lost his 12th, suffering a third-round loss by fellow Filipino Rustico Torrecampo in Manila.
Pacquiao celebrates after IBF super-bantamweight title win in 2001 A run of 12 wins followed, and he won his first world title – the WBC flyweight belt (that’s at a weight-limit of eight stone) with an eight-round stoppage of Chatchai Sasaku, in Thailand in 1998.
Pacquiao has since become the first and only boxer to win world titles in eight different weight divisions. Pacquiao clinched the feat when he defeated Antonio Margarito via a unanimous decision and won the WBC light-middleweight (154 lbs) title at a catch-weight of 150 lbs on November 13, 2010.
OUTSIDE THE RING
In 2007, he officially announced he would be running for a seat in the Philippine House of Representatives. In May 2010, he was elected as congressman of the district of Sarangani.
Roach has said that he will move into politics full-time when his boxing career is finished.
“When he fights, there is no crime in the Philippines, because everyone is watching him box. He has come such a long way. After boxing, he will go into politics.”
But boxing and politics are not his only two talents, far from it. He has played basketball for professional Philippine team Kia Sorento, released an album (he is going to sing his entrance music on Saturday – watch the video here) , acted in TV shows in the Philippines, and he was even the first Filipino athlete to appear on a postage stamp.
Mayweather and Pacquiao during their final press conference
Married Maria Geraldine “Jinkee” Jamora in May 2010. He has a Jinkee tattoo on his right arm. They have five children, and live in General Santos City in the Philippines.
WHAT IS UP FOR GRABS ON SATURDAY THEN?
Pacquiao will be defending his WBO welterweight title, and aiming to win Mayweather’s WBC and WBA welterweight titles.
HOW MUCH DOES PACQUIAO STAND TO EARN FROM THE FIGHT?
The contest at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas is expected to generate more than £300m for the pair, with the split going 60/40 in Mayweather’s favour, meaning Pacquiao will earn at least £120m.