Pacquiao: One last fight, I retire

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World boxing champion Manny Pacquiao on Wednesday announced that he would likely retire next year after one last fight so he could focus on a career in politics, hopefully as a senator.

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Pacquiao, a congressman representing Sarangani since 2010, this week declared his bid for a Senate seat in national elections to be held in May next year.

The 36-year-old boxer and lawmaker, winner of an unprecedented eight world titles in as many weight divisions and at times touted as a future President of the Philippines, said he had taken career advice from God.

“I think I’m ready [to retire]. I’ve been in boxing for more than 20 years,” Pacquiao said in an interview on ABS-CBN television. “I prayed to God for guidance and I am happy about it.”

Interviewed by reporters over dinner on Tuesday night, he said he needs to give up other things to allow him to focus on his job in case he wins a Senate seat in 2016.

Malaking responsibilidad yan. Kailangan mag-focus na sa trabaho. Kaya nga matagal ako nagdesisyon. Pinag-iisipan natin ‘yan kung ano yung igi-give up ko sa mga pinagkakaabalahan ko, to focus on serving the people [Being a senator is a big responsibility. I really need to focus on the work ahead. That’s why it took me a while to decide. I am pondering what should I give up among the things I’m busy with and let me focus on serving the people],” according to Pacquiao.

Before the elections, he said, he plans to climb into the ring for what would probably be the last time, most likely in March.

Pacquiao added that he is yet to pick his next opponent, and was not ruling out a rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr., even though the American had already announced his retirement.

Poor attendance

A rags-to-riches idol, Pacquiao, a former street vendor, has shrewdly parlayed his boxing success into a career in show business, product endorsements and politics.

Now representing his southern province of Sarangani in the House of Representatives, the pint-sized Pacquiao is also an improbable professional basketball player and a Christian pastor.

He was mercilessly criticized on social media this week after it was reported he had attended just four legislative sessions out of 70 this year because of sporting and other commitments.

Pacquiao said people should not be bothered by his absences in Congress because he has always tended to the needs of his constituents in Sarangani.

Kung pag-uusapan natin law, mayroon pa bang law na hindi natin naipasa para makaahon ang mga mahihirap? Although ‘di ako nakikita sa Kongreso, palagi ako sa distrito ko, marami akong nagawa [If we’ll to talk about lawmaking, are there laws left to be passed that could alleviate the plight of the poor? Even though I am not seen in Congress, I’ve been always in my district and I have done a lot there],” he added.

“Yesterday [Tuesday], I delivered a State of the District Address where I laid down my accomplishments in my two terms in Congress and people were satisfied. They were happy with what they saw,” Pacquiao said.

Latest pre-election surveys put him in the winning circle of 12 senatorial aspirants in the 2016 polls.

Pacquiao also on Wednesday pledged that he would be a “serious” senator.

“I will not be absent because the whole country will be my responsibility,” he said.

Special rapport

Political analyst Ramon Casiple said Pacquiao enjoys a special “rapport” with the masses that would translate into electoral success.

“The perception is that he is approachable, he has an empathy for Filipinos,” Casiple noted.

But he warned that in the Senate, Pacquiao would be “under a microscope,” with many people looking for signs that he was not working or did not understand the issues.

Casiple also warned that even Pacquiao’s popularity might not be enough to get him the presidency.

“His popularity will not be much of an advantage because he will [then]be up against people who are also well-known,” he said.

Common candidate

Pacquiao heads his own political party but hinted also on Wednesday that he would run for the Senate under the banner of Vice President Jejomar Binay, the current main opposition leader who is running for President in 2016.

Also friendly with President Benigno Aquino 3rd, he said there is a possibility that he would become a common candidate of both the administration and opposition parties.

“That’s possible… other parties could adopt me as their candidate,” Pacquiao added.

He said he has spoken with representatives of the other parties and he is considering their offers.

“I’m still thinking about it and I’m asking God’s guidance. I have not made a decision. I’ll make an announcement when I file my certificate of candidacy [COC],” Pacquiao added.

Pacquiao is expected to file his COC on October 16, the last day for filing, as he will be in Qatar today to support Filipino boxers participating in Olympic Qualifiers.

He would later proceed to New York to receive an award from the United Nations, which, he said, he will also address. With AFP

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3 Comments

  1. A law degree or any degree for that matter is not a prerequisite to becoming a successful legislator. Have the dozens of lawyers currently serving as Senators been able to serve the people’s interests? All they do is talk, talk, talk and collect, collect, collect. Pacquiao is street smart. He could always surround himself with dozens of lawyers, they are a dime a dozen. What is more important is his honesty, his willingness to serve and his genuine heart for the poor.

  2. paquiao isa sa marami kagaya nya na nasa gobyerno- delusional. akala niya na kung sino na siya at kinakausap siya ng diyos. parang kilalang kilala at alam na alam na niya kung sino at ano ang diyos. diyos diyosan lang niya yun. mga tao kagaya ni pacquiao ay hindi dapat pagkatiwalaan. matalo ka sana sa mga laban mo para bumalik ka ulit sa mundo.

  3. People who are not fans of Manny Pacquiao, will always see the lack of professional technical experience of Manny, what they are missing is that Manny has several talents that few people see bacuse they are more focus on his greatest achievemant as a Champion boxer, well we can not blame them because the fans of Manny is not only the Technocrats and common street people but also people who look further than what Manny’s deadly gloves. If one must focus on Manny’s ability on the ring,and deeply look at his technique in fighting they will see that Manny uses some really technical abilities comparable to an Engineer when it comes to timing and speed and the art of when to use power. His talents is not as common as a regular fighter, he uses more technical skills than a common fighter and basically that is the reason for his success. Some typical boxers rely on hard punches but Manny uses what is called constant and well pointed and consistent strikes as in the case of his triump in Dela Hoya/ Margarito/ Marquez fights. Myself as an Engineer can see further than what other fans can see, His preparation, setting up and execution is flawless especially in his early bouts. People are glued to his persona, as admirer , fan, and just friends who believe in him as a responsible individual and not even mentioning his devotion to his Religion. With these, I believe that Manny’s discipline and consistency on anything that he focus on qualifies in the Political position that he has decided to embrace.