‘We Were Dirt Poor’ – Manny Pacquiao Looks Back at His Journey in an Inspirational Video

Published 06/21/2021, 10:58 AM EDT
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – APRIL 09: Manny Pacquiao is interviewed after defeating Timothy Bradley Jr. by unanimous decision in their welterweight championship fight on April 9, 2016 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)


Filipino legend Manny Pacquiao reflects the true rags to riches story, one that began from nowhere but ended at the peak. Coming from immense poverty, Pacquiao could successfully become one of the richest athletes on the planet. That said, he also became the Senator of his home country Philippines.

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Well, Pac-Man’s journey doesn’t stop there. Apart from fame and money, Pacquiao’s boxing career saw him become the only ever eight-weight-class world champion, amassing an active 62-7-2 resume. However, Pacquiao wasn’t fortunate to have many benefits as a child. Ahead of his return against Errol Spence Jr, he looked back at his life to pass on an inspiring message. Pacquiao posted a video of his speech at Oxford Union, UK, from 2018, and revealed how he learned a few important life lessons.

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Manny Pacquiao said in the clip, “I will call it my education in the Open University of Life. It is a matter of record that I only had traditional formal schooling until Secondary School, Grade 12. It was only recently that I reached the University level through the alternative education program.

“We were dirt poor. I had to work since the age of seven to help my mother, feed my siblings. Many days I was lucky to have one full meal. On days when we had no food, I would drink lots of water just to fill my stomach.

“The movements of the clouds, the tint of the horizon, and the clarity of the stars taught me when morning was about to come. And for me morning did come. Warm, bright, and simply amazing.”

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Manny Pacquiao- The last giant of the era

Aged 42, ‘Pac-Man’ is still active as a professional boxer. So, he has seen four decades in his fighting career, and many consider him as the last standing elite of the bygone era. While several of his contemporaries like Floyd Mayweather and Oscar De La Hoya are looking for exhibition challenges, Pacquiao is going after world titles. He will end his 2-year-long inactivity from action, and fight the undefeated Spence Jr for the welterweight world titles.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JANUARY 19: Manny Pacquiao in the ring during the WBA welterweight championship against Adrien Broner at MGM Grand Garden Arena on January 19, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

On his last appearances in 2019, the veteran boxer took out Adrien Broner and an undefeated Keith Thurman to retain his WBA 147 lbs championship. But due to a long lay-off, WBA stripped him of the belt. Besides, COVID-19 wreaked havoc on the world by the end of 2019. As the situation worsened in his country, Pacquiao had to serve a lot as the Senator of the Philippines. He hung his gloves for a while and served the nation.

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Meanwhile, Manny Pacquiao has nothing left to probe in his Hall-Of-fame worthy career. However, the legend has the itch to fight. He has already encouraged the fans towards greater things, with his activities and words. Hence, ‘Pac-Man’ continues to be the ever-shining role model.

Do you think Manny Pacquiao is an all-time pound for pound great?

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Raj Sarkar

2103 articles

A senior boxing writer at EssentiallySports, Raj Sarkar is a mass media graduate who is currently pursuing his master’s degree in broadcast journalism. In addition to his current role, he has worked with the MMA team at EssentiallySports and has interviewed prominent fighters such as Ritu Phogat and 'The Red King' Rory MacDonald. He combined his bachelor's degree with his adoration for combat sports and has a combined 2000 plus bylines in MMA and boxing over the last two years.

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