By CARLO ANOLIN
As tributes for Manny Pacquiao continue to pour on social media, several boxing scribes, who have been in the industry for decades, also paid homage by sharing their best memorabilia and memories covering the Filipino boxing legend.
Pacquiao, on Wednesday, Sept. 29, officially announced his retirement from boxing with a storied record of 62 wins with eight losses and two draws on top of 39 knockouts.
It was a trip down memory lane for veteran boxing writer Nick Giongco, former sportswriter for the Manila Bulletin, as he flexed multiple memorabilia from his Pacquiao coverage since Day 1.
“From 2001 until 2021, Pacquiao fought 30 times on American soil, twice in Macau and one each in Australia and Malaysia. I was there from start to finish for TODAY, Manila Bulletin and Daily Tribune,” wrote Giongco on his Facebook account, sharing several press IDs where Pacquiao locked horns with Marco Antonio Barrera, Hector Velasquez, and recently Yordenis Ugas, among others.
The same goes for renowned boxing scribe Dan Rafael, who rose to fame following his long stint in ESPN with his in-depth boxing stories.
Rafael, who now writes for World Boxing News and his own newsletter, also shared on Twitter a couple of fond memories he had with the only eight-division world boxing champion.
Rafael said his all-time favorite bout was the first time clash between Pacquiao and Mexican rival Juan Manuel Marquez in May 2004, providing a glimpse of yesterday with rare prints of the official program and a poster.
The former ESPN boxing writer also showed Pacquiao’s rookie card from a 1999 issue of Japan’s World Boxing magazine and a 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter card from his own personal collection.
“Well, he has a lot of accomplishments inside and outside of the ring,” said Rafael in an interview with SiriusXM Boxing. “I think a lot of people in the long run are gonna remember him as a great human being, as a person of charity, and who looked out for his people and really went and did things out of the norm compared to your average person.”
Meanwhile, FightHype’s Lance Pugmire, who used to cover boxing stories for The Athletic, said Pacquiao became “a first of his kind” having been the sole eight-division world boxing champion.
“I mean, it’s never been done before in boxing and beyond that, I don’t know that we’ve [seen] short of the spirit and energy of Muhammad Ali,” recalled Pugmire. “Manny Pacquiao’s ever-present smile even through the rigorous training and walking in a very nervous moment. He always had that ever-present smile on his face.”
After boxing, Pacquiao is set to prepare for his presidential campaign in the next coming months come the 2022 Philippine general elections in May.