Manny Pacquiao Is Running For President | Retires From Boxing?

Image Credit: Manny Pacquiao Twitter

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 am a fighter, and I will always be a fighter inside and outside the ring,” Pacquiao said in his speech.

President Pacquiao?

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.

“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.

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.

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.”

The Manny Pacquiao story is nothing short of cinematic, and his next chapter may become his most splendid of all.

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.