Philippine superstar Manny Pacquiao says retiring from boxing

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Philippine boxing icon Manny Pacquiao has retired from the ring (AFP/Ted ALJIBE)

Philippine superstar and presidential hopeful Manny Pacquiao announced Wednesday he is retiring from boxing after a glittering decades-long career in the ring, describing it as the "hardest decision" of his life.

"It is difficult for me to accept that my time for me as a boxer is over," Pacquiao, 42, who plans to run for president in the 2022 elections, said in a video message on Twitter.

"Today I am announcing my retirement."

The eight-division world champion and national hero made the announcement weeks after losing his last professional fight, against Cuban Yordenis Ugas in Las Vegas.

Pacquiao, who entered politics in 2010 as a congressman before being elected to the Senate, said last week he will make a tilt for the country's highest office.

Pacquiao, a married father of five, thanked his millions of fans around the world, and paid special tribute to his long-time trainer Freddie Roach who he described as "my family, a brother and a friend".

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