Sports

Manny Pacquiao Started Boxing at Age 12 Because Even Losers Got Paid

The boxing world is a world full of extremes. While the best boxers can become fabulously rich, there are many boxers who will struggle to get by. This is especially true for young athletes and it was especially true for Manny Pacquiao when he was a kid who was just starting out.

Manny Pacquiao with rags

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Like many people in the world, Pacquiao grew up in poverty. As ESPN reported, his mom was a single mother, and she had to work hard to feed him and his five siblings. Some days though, she just wouldn’t have enough money to afford food, and he’d have to go to bed with only a stomach full of warm water. 

It’s not surprising then that, when he was 12, Pacquiao started boxing. He did it, like many people do, for the money. Like Pacquiao told ESPN, “I heard that when you fight, even when you lose, you have money.” The exact salary that Pacquiao got from these fights were next to nothing, but they were something for him and his family.

For example, ESPN said that, in those days, if he won a fight, he’d get paid 100 pesos. If he lost, he’d get 50 pesos. This was equal to about getting $2 for winning and $1 for losing.

But, in the Philippines, where he was born and raised, you could buy two pounds of rice for 32 pesos in those days. This was more than enough food to feed his family for a while. And so, he trained hard and fought, and he’s still fighting to this day. 

Manny Pacquiao with riches

It’s not clear how many of those childhood fights that Pacquiao’s had, but they eventually turned into more professional bouts that allowed him to afford more than just rice. In fact, as ESPN reported, after he fought Floyd Mayweather, he had earned almost $500 million from his professional boxing career. 

Since then, he’s kept boxing and winning, but he’s getting close to retirement. It seems like he’s eyeing one more big fight, this time against Conor McGregor, before he retires from boxing and goes back to his day job of being a Filipino senator. Unsurprisingly, due to his experience with poverty, Pacquiao, even outside of politics, is a very generous man. 

For example, ESPN said that, after a typhoon destroyed a city in the Philippines in 2013, he not only brought food and groceries to the people there, but he also helped recover bodies that laid in the rubble. Furthermore, ESPN said that, whenever he wins a fight, he always goes home and gives food to the thousands of people who line up for it. 

Other charity work

Nowadays, Manny Pacquiao is a national hero in his home country, and he does a lot of work on the ground to help those in need. For example, in 2016, he helped build 1,000 homes for poor and homeless Filipinos, according to USA Today. This was just one of many examples of how he’s helped the Filipino people, and it would take a while to list everything that he’s done for them.

More recently, the world has been fighting against the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Pacquiao and his family had a scare when they were in contact with someone who had tested positive, but fortunately, they tested negative for the disease. 

Regardless, Pacquiao fought back by teaming up with a billionaire to help provide the Philippines with about 50,000 test kits, according to DAZN. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the world, it wouldn’t be surprising if he decides to do even more for his country and its people.