Manny Pacquiao celebrates 42nd birthday

On Dec. 17, 1978, Mexico’s Pipino Cuevas remained in his 3rd year as the WBA welterweight champ, a belt he’d won in 1976 from Puerto Rican Angel Espada.

On that exact same day in the Philippines, undetected by the world, an infant was born who would go on to make a mark on the department that the compelling Cuevas then ruled.

Ever Since, 29 various males have actually held that belt, consisting of legends like Sugar Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearns, Shane Mosley and Floyd Mayweather Jr.

That child is now among the most renowned professional athletes of the 21st century, an extremely concerned benefactor, a precious political leader and on Dec. 17, 2020, at 42 years of ages, still the WBA welterweight champ.

What Manny Pacquiao has actually achieved in his life is amazing and by now, very well recorded.

It knocks one’s socks off that Pacquiao at 42 years of ages stays a champ in among boxing’s finest departments, one that consists of stars such as Terence Crawford, Errol Spence Jr., Shawn Porter, Keith Thurman, Mikey Garcia and Danny Garcia and up-and-comers like Vergil Ortiz, Jaron Ennis and Rashidi Ellis.

Crawford, concerned by numerous as boxing’s pound-for-pound best, wishes to battle him next. So, too, does Errol Spence Jr., an unbeaten 2012 Olympian who is likewise amongst the sport’s pound-for-pound elite.

They want him because they know his prominence will bring them their biggest payday with what they perceive to be a lesser risk than if they’d fought each other.

Let’s be honest here: If you take personalities out of it and you didn’t consider promoters or TV deals or anything other than pure fighting, Crawford versus Spence is clearly the fight to make.

Those two super talented individuals are following in Pacquiao’s footsteps inside the ring, though neither of them will ever come close to his matching his accomplishments.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JULY 20:  Manny Pacquiao celebrates his split decision victory over Keith Thurman in their WBA welterweight title fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena on July 20, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)
Happy Birthday, Sen. Manny Pacquiao. (Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)

He’s the only boxer to win the lineal championship in five weight classes. He’s won titles in a mind-boggling eight classes. And he’s won titles in four of the original eight weight classes.

He not only never ducked a challenge, he went out of his way to seek them out. Six of his former opponents have already been elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame — Oscar De La Hoya, Floyd Mayweather, Shane Mosley, Juan Manuel Marquez, Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales — and it seems likely that other ex-opponents such as Miguel Cotto, Timothy Bradley and Ricky Hatton will make it eventually.

He debuted in 1995 at 16 years old and and, nearly 26 years later, he’s still competing at the highest level of his sport.

He’s interested in fighting Spence, even though Spence looks like a light heavyweight when standing next to him.

Spence and Crawford should be taking their cues from Pacquiao. They’ll make more money in the long run and leave more significant legacies for themselves if they choose to fight each other.

Pacquiao fought ferociously inside the ring and battled passionately outside of it in a bid to improve the lot of his countrymen. He’s given tens of millions of his in-ring earnings to Filipinos in need.

He hasn’t been perfect and owned up to mistakes he made that threatened his marriage to his wife, Jinkee.

Despite all his success and the worldwide adulation he receives, he’s remained a humble and quiet man who doesn’t disparage others and who always looks to do what is right. That he didn’t always achieve those high standards proves only that he is human.

He has a cult-like following amongst his countrymen. His home is filled with people, many of whom he only knows in passing. It’s difficult to walk around in his locker room after fights as so many people crowd into it to say they were near him. Dozens of people sleep in his hotel suites at his major fights, including in the closet, on the floor and under his bed.

It shows the reverence he’s earned with a lifetime of accomplishment.

He’ll be back at least twice more and while the world no longer stands still when he fights, it sure does at least take notice.

Manny Pacquiao’s contributions to boxing are vast, but they’re dwarfed by his contributions to society at large.

On his 42nd birthday, it’s a good time to thank him and wish that more of his peers had that competitive spirit that drove him day after day for all these years.

Delighted Birthday, Sen. Manny. Can’t wait to see you in action yet once again.

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Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.