World boxing champion Manny Pacquiao will “fight” his ultimate political bout in 2022 when he guns for the presidency, boxing promoter Bob Arum said on Wednesday.
Arum, CEO of Top Rank — a professional boxing promotion firm that is on top of Pacquiao’s upcoming bout with Floyd Mayweather–told the media that the Filipino eight-division champion has become a “symbol of hope to many Filipinos” after he managed to pull himself out of poverty and become one of the richest professional athletes in the world.
“Absolutely that will be the greatest if it ever happens, that’s why I really wanted to live long,” Arum, 83 said in jest. “He inspires many Filipinos and he is a big help.”
Pacquiao is representing the province of Sarangani in the House of Representatives while his wife, Jinkee, is the vice governor of the province. His first foray into politics was a failure after he lost to incumbent Darlene Antonino in the race for the congressional seat of the First District of General Santos City in 2007.
The 32-year-old “fighting congressman” would be ineligible to run for President in 2016 as the Philippine Constitution requires a candidate standing for the presidency to be at least 40 years old. Pacquiao would be 43 by the next presidential elections in 2022.
“I really wanted him to run and win the Philippine presidency in 2022,” Arum said.
“Manny is no stranger [to]politics. I know it will be very tough for Manny to run [for]President in 2016, but in 2022 or maybe later he will run for President of the Philippines.”
Arum said Pacquiao would in the meantime bid for a Senate seat in 2016.
“In 2016, he’s going to run for a seat in the Senate and he’s going to win,” he added.