The Story of Manny Pacquiao begins in General Santos City, Philippines. He was born on December 17th, 1978. We can’t begin telling the story of Manny Pacquiao without examining the hard life of Manny Pacquiao. He was born into devastating poverty and was forced to work at a very young age after his father left the family for another woman.
Manny Pacquiao worked in the hardcore streets of General Santos City selling breads and other bakery goods. Those same streets helped in the development of the tough and relentless individual we see in the ring today. Also known as Pacman do to the way he gobbles up his rivals in the ring, Manny began fighting for a few dollars in the streets. These fights were brutal but soon Manny Pacquiao gained a reputation for being a very tough fighter, and showing incredible grit and determination when fighting opponents that were much larger than him. Even at a young age Manny displayed the speed and left handed power that has made him one of the most exciting boxers of his era.
Manny Pacquiao’s mother however was not a fan. She was very religious and had hoped her son would join the priesthood. Manny’s popularity increased around the city and people began taking notice of this scrawny kid with a hammer for a left hand. Without permission Manny set off to Manila to pursue his career with hopes of becoming a star in order to help his mother and family.
The story of Manny Pacquiao was still far from a fairy tale. His time in Manila was not easy. He trained for hours and had to work just as hard to earn a living. Manny worked in construction and also in the gym where he trained doing odd jobs which included janitor. Manny was undeterred and reeled of an eleven fight winning streak before tasting defeat for the very first time in 1996 vs Rustico Torrecampo who knocked Manny Pacquiao out. This was a devastating loss for Manny. The life of Manny Pacquiao could have taken a different turn after this period. He considered quitting boxing and going back home. The thoughts of going back as a failure and to continued and never ending poverty re-ignited Pacman to fight again.
He set off on another winning streak and defeated the WBC flyweight champion Chatchai Sasakul in 1998. Finally Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao had reached one of his goals and it seemed his career was about to take off. He successfully defended his crown in the very next fight but his stint as flyweight champion was short lived as he got knocked out by Medgoen Singsurat in his second title defense. Another set back in the story of Manny Pacquiao. Disappointed but undaunted Manny continued training in hopes of another big fight and opportunity.
Manny received that opportunity in June of 2001 when he faced IBF Bantamweight Champion Lehlohonolo Ledwaba. Manny fought and impressive fight, knocking out the tough champion in the sixth round. Winning the IBF belt in Las Vegas in such impressive fashion opened a lot of doors for Manny Pacquiao in the United States which is undeniably the largest boxing market in the world. Manny Pacquiao defended his title until 2003 when he gave it up and moved to a higher weight class which included the likes of Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera and Juan Manuel Marquez, three Mexican legends. He avenged a loss versus Morales and beat him in the third match which sent the great Morales into retirement. He fought and destroyed Barrera and then faced Juan Manuel Marquez in a truly exciting bout. Marques was dropped three times in the first round and fought valiantly to get a draw. In the rematch Pacquiao was awarded what many considered a controversial win.
The story of Manny Pacquiao continues as he faces his toughest opponent on December 6, 2008 in Las Vegas. He will be facing Oscar De La Hoya and will be fighting at 147 pounds. It remains to be seen if Manny Pacquiao made a wise decision in going up in weight to fight a true welterweight and living legend in Oscar De La Hoya. This may be a Mexican he cannot defeat!
Carlos Caicedo – Small Business Website