Five a.m. run, a full day of senate meetings, a post-work sparring session, and occasionally, a game of chess for a nightcap. Not an easy schedule, but when you’re the kind of person who needs to be told to not workout, and you still show up, slowing down isn’t really an option.
This is Manny Pacquiao—world championship welterweight boxer by night, Philippines Senate member by day, and devoted family man between it all. He tried to slow down, he even announced his retirement, but that didn’t last long. Pacquiao isn’t one to have idle hands.
“When I decided to retire, I felt lonely because I have never experienced anything like that,” he explained to GoPro when we caught up with him between training sessions. “But you know when you hang up your gloves and you realize everything, it’s hard to get away when you love the sport.”
He made the decision shortly after being elected to the Philippines Senate. He thought retiring would help make more time to serve as a senator, but since he started his term, only one thing has changed: “What’s different now is that I’m always busy.”
Retirement didn’t last long. In fact, boxing as a sport is no stranger to false retirees—Joe Louis, Sugar Ray Leonard, and Floyd Mayweather, to name a few. The latter most recently out maneuvered Pacquiao to claim the welterweight world championship belt in 2015. But that’s been long filed away in the past and used only as training inspiration.
If you ask him if he feels like he’s getting old today, he vehemently disagrees. And his speed? He says it’s better than ever.
“I can still feel that, the speed, the stamina, and the power, so God is good.”
The PacMan Is back.
This is good news considering he has his first post-retirement bout coming up against Jesse Vargas on Nov. 5. in Las Vegas. Pacquiao trained endlessly, each day reminding himself that, “[Vargas will] be a problem for me if I do not train hard, and if I don’t focus on my training. But when you work hard and sacrifice in training, I don’t think the fight is hard.”
It’s not just his first fight back, though. It’s Pacquiao’s first fight as a senator, which he says is an honor—a historical honor. He is the first boxing senator. He just so happens to sit on more than 20 senate committees and serve as chairman of public works and of sports.
“I am proud because, besides being a boxer, I am giving honor to my country, and also, I am helping people in terms of public service, legislature, laws,” Pacquiao explains.
From boxing as a boy in the Philippines to facing De La Hoya in the ring, Manny has a lot to proud of, which is why GoPro couldn’t turn down the opportunity to not just run with Manny but step into the ring with him.
For the first time ever, fans have the opportunity to see what it’s like to train with Pacquiao and Freddie Roach. Don’t let your guard down as we show you what it’s like to be on the receiving end of the decorated boxer’s jab-cross-hook-uppercut combo.
Check out the video above.
Shot 100% on the HERO4® camera.