By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Manny Pacquiao’s demanding jobs as a senator in the Philippines’ and as a boxer keep him plenty busy.
The Filipino superstar thus has no plans, at least not now, to eventually run for president in his homeland. Pacquiao, who won a congressional election in May 2010, has been a senator in the Philippines since May 2016.
His senatorial duties are more time-consuming than his congressional gig. The five-division world champion couldn’t even imagine running for president while still an active boxer.
Pacquiao told a group of reporters prior to a press conference Monday in Manhattan that he has “no intention” of running for president.
“After [being a] senator, I don’t know,” said Pacquiao, whose senatorial term concludes at the end of June 2022. “Somebody says they want me to run as the president of the Republic of the Philippines. But it’s a great responsibility, big responsibility, and in my heart I have no intention – right now I have no intention to run as president of the Republic of the Philippines. I’m happy to be a senator of the Philippines and serving the people, and while serving the people, happy to continue my boxing career.”
Rodrigo Duterte, the 73-year-old president of the Philippines, has repeatedly stated that he wants Pacquiao to succeed him in office when his term ends at the conclusion of June 2022.
Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs), who’ll turn 40 on December 17, will defend his WBA world welterweight title against Adrien Broner on January 19. Their 12-round, 147-pound championship match will headline a Showtime Pay-Per-View event at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Pacquiao could secure a very lucrative rematch against Floyd Mayweather Jr. if he beats Broner (33-3-1, 24 KOs, 1 NC). Whatever happens after he boxes Broner, Pacquiao doesn’t want to retire.
“When I tried to stop boxing, I feel like lonely and sad because boxing is my passion,” Pacquiao said. “I’ve been in boxing since I was young and when I stopped boxing, I realized nobody like me [was] waving the flags of the Philippines, bringing honor to my country, to our country. I want myself to always be seen in a boxing ring like that. I really like boxing and, like I said, boxing is my passion.
“Right now, my intention is to continue my career as a boxer because I can. Of course, I have to feel it and see the condition of my body. And right now, thank God for giving me strength and good health, peace of mind and strength every day that I can continue my career.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.