Who Is Manny Pacquiao: Biography, Early Life, Personal Life and Career

Manny Pacquiao, famous Filippino boxing champion, is preparing for his fight to become the new President of Philippines after his party's nomination to be their presidential candidate at a political convention in Quezon City on September 19. Read on to know more about who he is.
September 26, 2021 | 16:03
Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Who Is Manny Pacquiao?

Filipino world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao began boxing professionally at age 16. After beating Thailand's Chatchai Sasakul to win the WBC flyweight championship in 1998, he continued to overwhelm his era's top competitors en route to titles in eight separate weight divisions. Along with his boxing career, Pacquiao twice was elected to his country's House of Representatives and won a Senate seat in 2016.

Manny Pacquiao: Childhood and Early Life

Emmanuel Dapidran Pacquiao was born on December 17, 1978, to parents Dionesia Dapidran-Pacquiao and Rosalio Pacquiao. He was raised in Kibawe, which is located in the Bukidnon province of Mindanao, Philippines.

When he was a teenager, Pacquiao left his family and boarded a ship to Manila, Philippines, in hopes of training as a boxer and launching a career in the sport. Not long after, in January of 1995, his goals gained some traction; at age 16, he stepped into the ring for his first professional bout, against Edmund Ignacio. Pacquiao won the fight in four rounds, in a unanimous decision. The victory propelled him on a successful boxing run that would encompass the better part of two decades.

Manny Pacquiao: Boxing Career

Photo: DAZN
Photo: DAZN

At the age of 14, Pacquiao moved to Manila where he became part of the Philippine national amateur boxing team. He has an amateur record of 60-4.

On January 22, 1995, Pacquiao made his professional debut in a four-round bout in the light flyweight division against Edmund "Enting" Ignacio and won.

His first major boxing honor came in December 1998, when he won a bout against Chatchai Sasakul of Thailand and earned the ‘World Boxing Council’ (WBC) flyweight title.

On June 23, 2001, Manny faced Lehlohonolo Ledwaba for the ‘International Boxing Federation’ (IBF) junior featherweight title and won by a technical knockout. This was his second major boxing title, which he defended four times.

On November 15, 2003, in a career-defining fight for the Lineal and The Ring Featherweight championship in Texas, he defeated Marco Antonio through a technical knockout. He defended this title twice.

On May 8, 2004, Manny faced Juan Manuel, the holder of WBA and IBF featherweight titles, in Las Vegas. This bout was scored a draw.

On March 19, 2005, Manny fought the Mexican legend Erik Morales for the WBC international and IBA super featherweight titles in the super featherweight division. He lost the 12-round match, but defeated Morales in a rematch that took place on January 21, 2006, in Las Vegas.

In July 2006, he defended his WBC international title against Oscar Larios and won.

In June 2008, Manny fought for the WBC lightweight title and won the title by defeating David Diaz in the ninth round via knockout.

On December 6, 2008, he defeated Oscar De La Hoya, the six-division world champion, in the welterweight division.

In May 2009, he defeated Ricky Hatton and won The Ring’s junior welterweight title.

On November 14, 2009, in a fight termed ‘Firepower,’ Pacquiao defeated Miguel Cotto via technical knockout in the twelfth round at the ‘MGM Grand,’ Las Vegas, and won the WBO welterweight title.

On June 9, 2012, Manny Pacquiao faced Timothy Bradley to defend his WBO welterweight title in a 12-round fight. Bradley won the fight.

Manny Pacquiao faced Timothy Bradley again on April 12, 2014, at the ‘Grand Garden Arena’ in Nevada. This time, Pacquiao won and re-established himself as a strong fighter.

Pacquiao’s successful foray into politics happened on May 13, 2010, with him being proclaimed congressman of the Sarangani district. In the 2013 elections, he ran unopposed for his second term as a congressman.

Pacquiao became the oldest rookie to be drafted in the ‘Philippine Basketball Association’ when he was picked as the 11th overall in the first round of the 2014 PBA draft by ‘Kia’ basketball team.

In May 2016, the Commission of Elections announced Pacquiao as one of the winners of the Philippine Senate seat.

Pacquiao signed with Al Haymon's ‘Premier Boxing Champions’ (PBC) promotion in October 2018. In July 2019, he won the WBA (Super) welterweight title.

Manny Pacquiao: Politics and Entertainment

Photo: DAZN
Photo: DAZN

In 2007, Pacquiao made his first attempt to enter politics, running for a seat in the House of Representatives of the Philippines. He was defeated by incumbent Rep. Darlene Antonino-Custodio, and returned to life as a full-time boxer. In 2009, however, Pacquiao formed a new Filipino political party, the People's Champ Movement, and again ran for a legislative seat. He won in a landslide, beating opponent Roy Chiongbian to become the Sarangani province representative in May 2010.

Three years later, Pacquiao earned a second term after running unopposed for reelection, and in 2016, the boxing great again leveraged his popularity to win a seat as a Philippines senator.

Along with his athletic and political careers, Pacquiao has shown off his vocal abilities by releasing two albums and collaborating on other tracks. He has appeared in several movies, and starred in the Philippine sitcom Show Me Da Manny from 2009-11. A documentary about his life, Manny, was released in the United States in early 2015.

Pacquiao's wife, Jinkee, was elected vice governor of Sarangani in 2013. They have five children together.

Manny Pacquiao: Personal Life & Legacy

Pacquiao is married to Maria Geraldine "Jinkee" Jamora, and they have five children: Emmanuel Jr. "Jimuel," Michael, Princess, Queen Elizabeth "Queenie," and Israel.

The couple now officially resides in Kiamba, Sarangani, Maria’s hometown.

In February 2007, he cleared a high school equivalency exam, which made him eligible for college education.

Pacquiao graduated from the ‘University of Makati’ in Makati City with a bachelor's degree in political science, majoring in local government administration, on December 11, 2019.

Manny Pacquiao: Awards & Achievements

Photo: Time Magazine
Photo: Time Magazine

By winning the Lineal and The Ring featherweight championship, he became the first Asian and Filipino to be a three-division world champion.

Manny Pacquiao also became the first Filipino and Asian to become a five-division world champion and the first Filipino boxer to win a world title in the lightweight division.

On December 22, 2008, he was awarded the ‘Philippine Legion of Honor’ with the rank of Officer “for winning four world titles in different weight divisions and for being the best fighter in the world in his time.”

On November 20, 2009, President Macapagal-Arroyo conferred upon Pacquiao the Order of Sikatuna with the rank of Datu with Gold distinction for winning his seventh weight division world title.

He was named ‘Fighter of the Decade’ (2000s) by the ‘Boxing Writers Association of America’ (BWAA), ‘World Boxing Council’ (WBC), and ‘World Boxing Organization’ (WBO).

Manny Pacquiao has received several awards, including the ‘Best Fighter ESPY Award’ (2009 & 2011), ‘PSA Sportsman of the Year’ (2000-2009), ‘WBO Fighter of the Year’ (2010), ‘ESPN Fighter of the Year’ (2006, 2008 & 2009) and ‘The Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year’ (2006, 2008 & 2009).

The 2009 and 2015 issues of ‘Forbes’ magazine named Pacquiao as the ‘World's Highest-Paid Athlete’ (ranked 6th and 2nd respectively). In 2009, he was also listed among the 100 most influential people by ‘TIME.’

In 2019, ‘Forbes’ magazine ranked Pacquiao as one of the ‘Highest-Paid Athletes of the Decade’ (ranked 8th).

Boxer Manny Pacquiao is running for president in the Philippines

Boxer Manny Pacquaio is gearing up for another fight — to be president of the Philippines.

The Filipino boxing icon accepted his party's nomination to be their presidential candidate at a political convention in Quezon City on September 19, per the AP.

Pacquaio, 42, is a Philippine senator and a member of a faction of the PDP-Laban political party. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is from the same party, PDP-Laban, but a different, rival faction.

"I'm a fighter and will always be a fighter, inside and outside of the ring," Pacquiao said at Sunday's party event. "All my life, I haven't backed down from any fight. Nothing is impossible if it's ordained by God."

Boxer Manny Pacquaio is gearing up for another fight — to be president of the Philippines.

The Filipino boxing icon accepted his party's nomination to be their presidential candidate at a political convention in Quezon City on September 19, per the AP.

Pacquaio, 42, is a Philippine senator and a member of a faction of the PDP-Laban political party. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is from the same party, PDP-Laban, but a different, rival faction.

"I'm a fighter and will always be a fighter, inside and outside of the ring," Pacquiao said at Sunday's party event. "All my life, I haven't backed down from any fight. Nothing is impossible if it's ordained by God."

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