KEY POINTS

  • Bob Arum sees a resemblance between Manny Pacquiao and Muhammad Ali
  • Freddie Roach once said Pacquiao is the "new Ali"
  • The "Pac-Man" officially retired from boxing at age 42

For Bob Arum, Manny Pacquiao resembles Muhammad Ali both as a boxer and as a person.

Pacquiao will forever be remembered as one of the greatest fighters of all time. Throughout his illustrious boxing career, he rubbed shoulders with an array of famous personalities in the sport.

In the process, people like Arum got the chance to know the “Pac-Man” outside the ring.

In a recent interview with World Boxing News, Arum talked about the legacy of Pacquiao, with whom he had a great working relationship at Top Rank.

Many have raved about Pacquiao, but according to Arum, he’s one of the few people who were able to see who the Filipino boxing legend is as a “human being.”

“When you get somebody like Manny Pacquiao, as great a fighter as he was, you don’t focus on (his boxing). The focus is on his other attributes,” Arum said. “What a wonderful, caring human being he is.”

Arum went on and even likened Pacquiao to the late Ali, another boxing legend who left his mark on him.

“It’s almost like [Muhammad] Ali. When people talk to me about Ali, they talk about his speed, and this and that, and I really begin to tune them out,” he stated. “For me, Ali means so much more. Same thing with Pacquiao. I don’t want to demean what he accomplished in the ring because it was great, but for me, that’s already faded away.”

This wasn’t the first time Pacquiao was compared to Ali. It can be recalled that his longtime coach Freddie Roach even referred to him as the “next Ali.”

“I’ve always said I built my gym just in case the next Muhammad Ali walked through the door—Manny Pacquiao is my Muhammad Ali,” Roach wrote on his official Twitter account.

Pacquiao last fought in August against WBA welterweight champion Yordenis Ugas.

At 42, the world’s only eight-division titlist was still a favorite coming into the fight.

Unfortunately, Ugas’ youth prevailed and Pacquiao suffered a devastating decision loss.

As a warrior, Pacquiao initially wanted to rematch Ugas and was eyeing a January 2022 comeback. However, he eventually decided to call it a career.

“To the greatest fans and the greatest sport in the world, thank you!,” Pacquiao wrote on Twitter as he bid farewell to boxing. “Thank you for all the wonderful memories. This is the hardest decision I’ve ever made, but I’m at peace with it. Chase your dreams, work hard, and watch what happens. Goodbye boxing.”

Philippine boxing icon Manny Pacquiao has retired from the ring Philippine boxing icon Manny Pacquiao has retired from the ring Photo: AFP / Ted ALJIBE