Manny Pacquiao, not one to be put off by a daunting challenge, has announced he is running for Congress in the Phillipines.
Pacquiao, who turns 31 on Dec. 17, claimed his seventh world boxing title in seven different weight classes when he dissected Miguel Cotto on Nov. 14 to win the WBO's welterweight crown. This entry into the political sphere figures to be a more arduous trek, considering his first foray into politics ended in defeat. He finished second in a 2007 race to be a district representative of South Cotabato in 2007 and came in second to Darlene Antonino-Custodio. A large segment of voters felt that he should stick to doing what he does best, and not muddy himself in a business even more seedy and complex than the fight game. Also, Custodio had a sturdy, entrenched machine in place to smack down the popular but politically green Pacman.
The election for the Sarangani Province congressional seat takes place on May 10, 2010. Pacquiao is vying for the slot as part of his own People's Champ Movement party.
Fight fans are wondering how this move will affect the fighter's schedule.
So is his promoter, Bob Arum.
Arum boarded a plan on Tuesday to fly to the Phillipines to get a sitdown with Manny, to see how the boxer is planning to juggle politics and pugilism.
So, how will Pacman fare in his second political head-to-head? He is slated to take on shipping biggie Roy Chiongbian, of the influential Chiongbian family, whose father is currently a representative there, and whose mother also held elected office. Like Custodio, he will be armed with a well-oiled campaign machine, and won't be an easy foe to steamroll for the political neophyte.
Pacman told the press as he filed his bid, "I want only good things for Sarangani. I will work for children, for the health of our countrymen and for their livelihood."
Arum will likely press for a Pacman-Mayweather bout before the May 10 elections, but one wonders if Manny will be able to adequately ready himself for Mayweather while campaigning. I am dubious, and wonder if a fall date with Mayweather isn't the wiser option.
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