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Manny Pacquiao remembers pro debut from 25 years ago today: ‘Boxing changed my life forever’

Manny Pacquiao is still going strong in 2020, but back in 1995 he made a pro boxing debut with no fanfare at the age of 16.

Manny Pacquiao v Keith Thurman Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

25 years ago today, one of the all-time greats made his professional boxing debut at the age of 16, and Manny Pacquiao remembered the day on his Instagram page:

Pacquiao weighed in at 106 pounds for his debut fight against Edmund Enting Ignacio, a 20-year-old fellow Filipino who was 1-1 at the time and would go on to fight from 1994-2001, with a pro record of 8-24-3 (1 KO).

Pacquiao won a four-round decision that day in Sablayan. He’d win his first world title in 1998, knocking out Chatchai Singwangcha in Thailand to win the WBC flyweight belt. He has, of course, gone on to win world titles in eight divisions overall, and currently holds the WBA welterweight title, which he won last July by beating Keith Thurman.

He has engaged in legendary rivalries with the likes of Juan Manuel Marquez and Erik Morales, and shared the ring with a number of greats: Floyd Mayweather, Marco Antonio Barrera, Oscar De La Hoya, Shane Mosley, Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton, and many more champions.

“I never imagined life would bring me to where I am now,” Pacquiao wrote. “I never dreamed of all the accomplishments my future would hold. Boxing changed my life forever. It lifted my family and I out of poverty, brought me places I never dreamed I would be, and provided me the opportunities to help others along the way.”

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