There’s been a ton of speculation about what’s next for Manny Pacquiao. But world’s first boxer to win titles in four different weight divisions is always looking forward.
Last month in Paradise, Nevada, Pacquiao fought Yordenis Ugás in a highly touted bout for the WBA’s super welterweight title. After 12 rounds, Pacquiao lost a unanimous decision to the 35-year-old Puerto Rican boxer.
Yet, the 42-year-old Philippine superstar can boast of an impressive 62–8–2 record over his 26-year boxing career, and one that has taken place alongside a stint in professional basketball in his home country as well as a successful run in politics, as a senator. It’s also been speculated that Pacquiao may run for president of the Philippines in 2022.
In addition to that, Pacquiao is hoping to use his fame as a boxer to help the less fortunate. His Los Angeles-based charity called the Manny Pacquiao Foundation has the fight against poverty as its main initiative. Prior to last month’s big match, Pacquiao and his foundation announced partnership with Looptify, to make “PacMan” merch available to diehard fans who also want to help out a good cause. This week, Pacquiao spoke more about that partnership.
“When we first started discussions with Looptify, it was obvious they were already making some waves,” Pacquiao said, via email. “They were putting together some major partnerships, and we wanted to be a part of that.”
He adds that Looptify, a firm which describes itself as a “marketplace platform for notable celebrities, influencers, musicians (and) professional athletes” to connect with fans, is all about doing good, not just selling goods online.
“The other thing that stood out to me was their desire to give back. Looptify wanted to make sure proceeds go to the Manny Pacquiao Foundation on a regular basis.”
Looptify was started by well-known funders that include Silicon Valley concerns Fusion Fund and Shima Capital, along with celebrity backers Dave Chappelle and NBA star Kyle Kuzma.
After a quick conversation about the partnership, Pacquiao also shared some perspective on his long career in boxing, how he trained for a title fight in his forties, and the similarities between boxing and politics.
Pacquiao also doesn’t hint in any way that he’s retired from the ring.
Andy Frye: You are a legend in boxing and have achieved a lot. What has motivated you to keep fighting professionally for so long?
Manny Pacquiao: I continue to fight because of my love for the sport, but also because of the support of all of my fans. There is nothing like the feeling of fighting for an entire country and all of my fans around the world.
I would not be where I am today without all of them. It also allows me to continue helping the less fortunate. Because I am so blessed, I feel a duty to help others. I’ve walked in their shoes before so I know how it feels.
AF: How does training for a fight change in your forties? How do work in preparation—if it is at all different?
Pacquiao: My body does not recover as fast as it used to, but since I’ve been training for so many years, I know my body really well. I know when to listen to it and take a morning off from jogging or a day off at the gym, leading up to the fight. I also try to take really good care of my body, from rest to nutrition (in order) to help with that process.
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AF: You’ve fought and beat a lot of world class boxers. Who was the most difficult to fight? Or the most enjoyable to battle?
Pacquiao: I’ve had some amazing opponents over my career and each one posed a different style and threat.
My matchups with (Marco Antonio) Barrera, (Érik) Morales, and (Juan Manuel) Marquez were some of my favorite matchups because of the type of fights we were able to give the fans.
The fans always enjoy two guys that aren’t afraid to go toe-to-toe, and those matchups were some of the most memorable. I won some and I lost some of those, but it has been an honor to share the ring with so many great warriors.
AF: Some say politics is “like boxing” but you would know first hand. Or is your political career more negotiation and friendship than we think?
Pacquiao: Boxing can be political sometimes but just like anything else, you have to keep your head down and just keep working hard. Focus on your passion and get the job done.
Politics can be messy but if your heart is right, just keep your head down and fight for the people you are called to serve. That’s my passion. Through my position and the Manny Pacquiao Foundation, we want to give people a better quality of life.
AF: What advice do you have for boxing’s newest generation of fighters?
Pacquiao: Work hard. Don’t try to take any shortcuts. Dedicate yourself to your craft. Stay humble no matter what success you have and enjoy it while it lasts.
Boxing provides amazing opportunities but it is not easy. I’m excited about the up-and-coming stars in our sport.