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Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao is an eight division world champion, current WBO Welterweight World Champion and number one pound-for-pound boxer in the world. He is a true icon of the sport and, no-one would deny, a future Hall of Famer. He is also a singer with one album recorded, a 2011 hit single “Sometimes We Touch" and he is an actor who has appeared in eight films. Despite this, it seems like one of his greatest passions at the moment is politics.
In 2007, it was a busy year for Pacquiao (53-3-2 KO38). Not only did he fight title defences of his WBC Super Featherweight International belt, he also decided to run for a seat in the House of Representatives. He lost this the election by 29% of the votes, perhaps because people weren’t ready to see their favourite fighter as a Politian. Nevertheless, he was undeterred. Three years later he announced he was running again. This time he won by 30% of the votes and in June 2010 he took an oath of office as the Congressman for the Sarangani province.
Since then, his boxing has slowed down somewhat. Not dramatically – he still gets in two fights a year. But it is taking more of a backseat. He has taken to his role in congress with intensity and passion, the traits he has displayed in the ring all these years. His love for politics makes me wonder how long he has left in the ring, when even his trainer Freddie Roach is certain Pacquiao will quit boxing for politics:
We are going to lose Manny Pacquiao to politics, for sure,”
Right now, boxing cannot afford to lose one of its superstars. If Manny Pacquiao were to retire, who would that leave us with? There are a plethora of very talented boxers, and there is some young blood that could touch the heights of megastardom in years to come, but for the next few years, who will we have? Floyd Mayweather? He is not young anymore, and one massive thing he has going for him is his unbeaten record. One upset, one wrong decision, one plucky young fighter on a good day could change that. Sure, Floyd without his unbeaten streak would still be a superstar. But he would be tainted.
As it stands, Manny Pacquiao plans to retire in 2013, when he will be 34. This is a young age for a man on top and it means we will only see a maximum of five more fights from Pac-Man. We should enjoy them while we can.
One Final Thing – Manny Pacquiao Hospitalised
Manny Pacquiao was hospitalised yesterday for his recurring problem with acid reflux. When the rumours of his hospitalisation started the internet became panicked. But there is no need to worry. Pacquiao’s legal advisor, Franklin Gacal, calmed everyone down:
“It’s the same ailment”
Pacquiao’s fight with WBA and WBO Lightweight World Champion Juan Manuel Marquez 12th November will not be affected. Enjoy the fight.