Pacquiao ready to fight ring and political battles in 2016
By Rich Mazon
13 Oct 2015
New York City – In the eve of accepting his recognition as 2015’s “Asia Game Changer” from the prestigious Asia Society in an equally august dinner and award event at the United Nations Tuesday evening, Manny Pacquiao assured everybody that he will still fight again despite the call to serve in a higher office back in the Philippines and the injury suffered in his last fight.
Pacquiao, currently a member of the Philippine House of Representatives, was vocal about running for the senate in next year’s scheduled national elections but he also answered questions about his injured shoulder and the time frame of when he will box again.
“My shoulder is 80 to 90 percent healed and I believe I can start training in November or December so I can fight early next year,” Pacquiao revealed.
“I can fight by March.” He then added.
The name of Pacquiao’s former stable mate and friend, Amir Khan of the United Kingdom was mentioned during the press query and the Filipino sports icon expressed no hesitation in having Khan as his counterpart for March.
“We are friends but although we are friends, when we are doing our jobs in the ring – there is no friend. Nothing personal, it is just doing your job. That is sports, we allow each other to hit each other also,” said Pacquiao to the delight and laughter of the audience.
Khan, a two-time world champion and a silver medalist for the United Kingdom in the 2004 Athens Olympics has been floated as one of the possible opponents for him.
“He is one of the names that my promoter has given me but we have not decided yet. It is not final yet that he is my next opponent.”
What Pacquiao has recently decided was to officially announce his intention to run for the Philippine Senate, a decision which he had difficulty making.
“I am running because I really believe that I can help more people,” answered Pacquiao on why he wanted to be one of the country’s twelve new senators next year.
In Pacquiao's announcement of his current political plans, the boxer had also given the audience a heads up that his days as a well-sought prized fighter is about to end.
“It is a very difficult decision because you have to consider a lot of things, especially your time for your family and of course I am a busy man. When you have to become a senator, you have to give up other activities just to focus (on) your job as a public servant.”
The popular boxer-congressman from the province of Sarangani will leave The Big Apple Wednesday after receiving his award in the UN tonight and immediately return to his province to file his Certificate of Candidacy with the full support of his constituents.
“I am going back Wednesday in the Philippines and I will file my “COC” or Certificate of Candidacy with the full force of Sarangani officials. They are very supportive of my decision to run as a senator because they know what I have done and what I have accomplished in Sarangani.”
Pacquiao spoke enthusiastically about his programs and plans if elected in office. Among those he mentioned are building better shelter in the country, sustainable livelihood, improved healthcare and education.
“A lot of people are starving and they really need help from the government,” he remarked.
Pacquiao in his address alluded that he spent his personal money in various projects for his province in his term as a congressman and that a national position will arm him with better resources to help in a much larger scale.
“And that is why I decided to run as a senator, I believe I can help more people.”
Manny Pacquiao might have taken the rest of 2015 off in the boxing ring, but 2016 promises to be both a big year of fights for the Filipino slugger slash lawmaker inside and outside of it.
(I would like to thank my co-New York press mates and friends, Elton Lugay and John Gadia for their invaluable assistance in covering this event.)
Photo: Manny Pacquiao answers questions from the media at Asia Society in New York Monday. Photo by Elton Lugay.
You can reach the author at email@example.com and @Freemazon910 on Twitter.
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