Manny Pacquiao, 31, was recently named “Fighter of the Decade” by the Boxing Writers’ Association and is the only fighter ever to capture seven championship belts in seven different weight classes. But few could have imagined that Pacquiao would have ever reached the pinnacle of his sport, considering his background. He ran away from home — a cardboard shack in General Santos City in the Philippines — at age fourteen. After making his way to Manila, and eventually the United States, Pacquiao hooked up with trainer Freddie Roach in 2001, and, from there, his fighting career took off.
Named one of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” last year, the aptly nicknamed Pac-Man is a fascinating figure who will go down as one of the greatest boxers in history.