Boxing’s only eight-division world champion, Manny Pacquiao, is seeking to add another accolade to his career: president of the Philippines.
The rumor was the current Philippine senator considered a run for the 2022 election, but it now is official.
I boldly accept the challenge of running as PRESIDENT of the Philippines. We need progress. We need to win against poverty. We need government to serve our people with integrity, compassion and transparency. The time is now. I am ready to rise to the challenge of leadership. 🇵🇭 pic.twitter.com/suN1zFTxyW
— Manny Pacquiao (@MannyPacquiao) September 19, 2021
“I am a fighter, and I will always be a fighter inside and outside the ring,” Pacquiao said in his speech.
Pacquiao, a member of the PDP-Laban party, accepted his party’s nomination at its national convention on Sunday. An ardent philanthropist and champion of the people, Pacquiao believes his country needs a change of government.
Which is your favorite @MannyPacquiao moment?
The legend announced he is running for president of the Philippines! pic.twitter.com/GVWttI2Igb
— World Boxing Council (@WBCBoxing) September 20, 2021
“We need government to serve our people with integrity, compassion and transparency.”
Pacquiao leads the PDP-Laban party as its president. He steers the party with Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III. However, their party splintered with another faction backing current President Rodrigo Duterte’s former aide as its candidate.
However, Sen. Bong Go declined the nomination. The turn of events is inconvenient for Duterte, who cannot run for a second term, per the Philippine Constitution. Many viewed Sen. Go’s nomination as a proxy play for the current President.
Still, Pacquiao’s party opposition has decided to petition the Commission on Elections. They are making a bid to declare Pacquiao and his faction illegitimate officers of the ruling party.
Ever The Fighter
But Pacquiao is taking the fight to Duterte, challenging his record and tactics to be tough on crime.
“In my whole life, I have not backed down on any fight,” Pacquiao said.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) that it will open a probe into alleged crimes against humanity in Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s “war on drugs." https://t.co/wlTNLSieux pic.twitter.com/ZAqPzxR5dX
— ANADOLU AGENCY (@anadoluagency) September 16, 2021
Speculation has surrounded Duterte in committing crimes against humanity. His stance on illegal drugs led to a brutal campaign within his country. According to reports, an International Criminal Court announced an investigation into Duterte’s alleged crimes, which has left thousands dead.
Pacquiao’s Second Act
The son of Sarangani Province, Manny Pacquiao has had a brilliant first act in professional sports.
Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) is the onetime Boxing Writers Association of America Fighter of the Decade. He also is a three-time BWAA Fighter of the Year. He fought everybody, and even when he lost a boxing match, he did so with grace.
Harold Lederman scored the fight 119/109 to Pacquiao. The fans in the arena and around the world were outraged that Bradley had been declared the winner. Pacman’s superb unbeaten streak had ended.
👑 Manny Pacquiao: pic.twitter.com/3XcoOKO5PJ
— Lineal Boxing Champion (@LinealBoxChamp) September 20, 2021
However, his wins are epic.
His first world title came from a sixth-round TKO over Lehlohonolo Ledwaba for the IBF super-bantamweight title. After that, Pacquiao began dismantling division after division. He avenged a loss to Erik Morales via a third-round knockout in another weight class.
He then scored a “W” over names like Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto, Joshua Clottey, Antonio Margarito, Shane Mosley, and Juan Manuel Marquez in a row; all through four weight classes.
Later in his career, Pacquiao showed he could still hang with the young guns. After losing to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the highest-selling boxing pay-per-view of all time, and Jeff Horn, Pacquiao bounced back hard.
He defeated Lucas Mattysse, Adrien Broner, and Keith Thurman in a row at 39 and 40 years old. However, his last fight showed his age in his loss to Yordenis Ugas late in August. Many speculated if the fight would be Pacquiao’s last, especially as his political ambitions had heated up.
Pacquiao appears to have retired in a recent interview. During an appearance on “Toni Talks” over the weekend, Pacquiao discussed his presidential opportunity and “retirement.”
“My boxing career is already over. It’s done because I’ve been in boxing for a long time and my family says that it is enough.”
🥊 Fights: 72
✅ Wins: 62
💥 KO's: 49
❌ Losses: 8
🤝 Draws: 2
🏅 World Titles: 12
Manny Pacquiao has announced his retirement from boxing at the age of 42
Happy retirement champ. 👏 pic.twitter.com/4FnEt2BgPw
— William Hill (@WilliamHill) September 20, 2021
The Manny Pacquiao story is nothing short of cinematic, and his next chapter may become his most splendid of all.