Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao has announced his retirement from the sport to focus on his political career.
The multi-division world champion, who is a senator in his native Philippines, has already announced his intention to run for president in the country’s 2022 elections.
The 42-year-old’s final fight was a defeat by Cuba’s Yordenis Ugas in Las Vegas last month.
“I just heard the final bell. Boxing is over,” said Pacquiao.
In a video posted on social media, Pacquiao described retiring as the “hardest decision” of his life, adding boxing had given him “the chance to fight my way out of poverty” and “the courage to change more lives”.
He also thanked his fans, friends and all those who supported him throughout his career, most notably long-time trainer Freddie Roach, who he described as “my family, a brother and a friend”.
“I will never forget what I have done and accomplished in my life,” he said.
Pacquiao is regarded as one of the greatest professional boxers of all time, winning 12 different titles across eight weight divisions and is the only boxer to hold world championships across four decades.
In July 2019, Pacquiao became the oldest welterweight world champion in history at the age of 40 when he defeated Keith Thurman to win the WBA (Super) welterweight title, though he was stripped of the title in January 2021 because of inactivity.
Speaking after his defeat to Ugas in August, Pacquiao said he was “60-40” in favour of quitting.
He retires with a record of 62 wins, eight defeats and two draws.