The Filipino (58-6-2-KO38) called time after a 66th professional fight and retires as the sport’s first and only eight-division world and Ring magazine champion.
Despite losing the so-called ‘Fight of the Century’ against Floyd Mayweather in May 2015, Pacquiao produced some of the modern era’s most entertaining performances. We recall some of his key bouts…
Having fought 34 times already – primarily in his homeland – and won and lost the WBC world flyweight title, Pacquiao was called in to face South Africa’s long-reigning IBF super-bantamweight king Ledwaba at just two weeks’ notice.
On his US debut, a 22-year-old Pacquiao shone under the bright lights of the MGM Grand as his confrontational style and big southpaw straight left delighted the crowd. In the sixth round, one of them caught the champion flush and Pacquiao had made his mark on America.
If the victory over Ledwaba had snatched him his second world title and brought him to a wider audience, Pacquiao began a rise to superstardom on the undercard of Lennox Lewis v Mike Tyson. As chief support, the pressure was on him.
Julio entered the ring looking to become a world champion for the third time in his career. He left it having been stopped for the first time in his career and in just two rounds. Again, that Pacquiao left cross had done the damage – felling his man twice before the referee waved it off.
Pacquiao had exchanged hard-fought victories with Mexico’s ‘El Terrible’ at super-featherweight and the pair met for the decider with fans expecting another long, attritional war between two of the sport’s most popular operators.
They had not accounted for Pacquiao’s urgency, this time around though. Under a second-round Morales assault, Pacquiao knocked down his man with a clubbing left counter. Morales’ response sparked a thrilling closing 30 seconds to the session – only for Pacquiao to finish the job in the next.
As prior to his 10th-round stoppage loss to Mayweather, Hatton arrived in Vegas with an army of boisterous Mancunians. Pacquiao was coming off a victory over Oscar De La Hoya on his super-lightweight debut.
Just before the end of the first, Pacquiao reeled off a seemingly-endless combination to send Hatton crashing over in the corner. There was no getting up from what happened in the second; the short left Pacquiao ended the fight with may be the most famous single shot he threw in his career.
Already a world champion at welterweight, Pacquiao stepped up to challenge the controversial Margarito for the vacant WBO world super-welterweight title. Margarito weighed in at 150lbs and boasted a six-inch height advantage.
The vast physical disparities between the pair ended up counting for nothing. Pacquiao’s surgical accuracy left the Mexican’s face – and in particular his right eye – a sorry mess over the course of 12 one-sided rounds as any doubters were once again made to look foolish.