But before he reached the pinnacle of sport and politics, the 40-year old had to battle through poverty from a young age. And due to his life journey, Pacquiao has made it his goal to help those who have faced similar settings.
“Boxing is my passion, and public service is my calling,” said Pacquiao. “If I have money to help the people, I will help them.”
When he was a teenager, Pacquiao stowed away on a three-hour boat ride to Manila from his Filipino hometown of Kibawe, leaving his family behind in search of a better life. He took on the sport of boxing as a means of survival.
The Philippines in 2017 saw 21.6 percent of people live in poverty and 40 percent of people live in debt. His first professional boxing bout, which took place at the age of 16, earned him $20.
“I started boxing because of poverty, because of poverty, and we need something to eat,” said the eight-division world champion.