Pacquiao: king of the ring rumbles for Philippine presidency

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FILE – Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines speaks throughout a press convention after his defeat to Yordenis Ugas of Cuba within the WBA Welterweight Championship boxing match at T-Cell Enviornment in Las Vegas on August 21, 2021. (Photograph by Patrick T. FALLON / AFP)

Manny Pacquiao is idolized by many within the Philippines each for his punching energy and rise from poverty to the height of world boxing. However his help of a lethal struggle on medicine and homophobic views have drawn loads of detractors.

Identified within the Asian archipelago as “The Nationwide Fist”, Pacquiao has parlayed sporting success into the political ring, and now has his sights set on a high-stakes rumble for the presidency.

Pacquiao declared Sunday he’ll run for the highest job within the 2022 elections, vowing to sort out poverty and corruption as he seeks to win over voters along with his rags-to-riches story.

“I really feel what you’re all feeling, I do know the struggling that you’ve got skilled and I do know that you’re all drained,” mentioned Pacquiao after accepting the nomination of a rival faction in President Rodrigo Duterte’s ruling celebration.

After two phrases as a congressman and one as a senator, Pacquiao’s ambition will not be unrealistic in a rustic famed for its celebrity-obsessed politics.

However victory is much from assured.

Followers see Pacquiao, an eight-division world champion, as residing proof that success is feasible for anybody who works exhausting, regardless of their origins.

However critics accuse the high-school dropout of missing mind and being a frequent no-show within the senate, elevating questions on his means to run the nation of 110 million folks.

Lower than a 12 months out from the elections, Pacquiao has risked political capital in a public stoush with Duterte, who rivals the boxer for the affections of many Filipinos and beforehand talked about him as a potential successor.

He has additionally stirred controversy by backing Duterte’s lethal drug struggle, which rights teams say has killed tens of 1000’s of largely poor males and sparked an investigation by the Worldwide Prison Court docket.

A fervent evangelical Christian, Pacquiao has publicly opposed divorce, abortion and contraceptives, and has in contrast homosexual {couples} to animals — a slur that value him a sponsorship cope with sportswear large Nike.

“His recognition as a boxer won’t one hundred pc translate to his recognition as a politician,” Ted Lerner, a US-born sports activities journalist within the Philippines, advised AFP.

Fame, energy and wealth

Pacquiao dropped out of highschool at 14, bought doughnuts on the roadside and have become a grocery stacker to assist his mom help two youthful siblings.

Inside a couple of years, the diminutive southpaw was a professional boxer.

Within the ring, he’s a quantity energy puncher who makes use of lightning footwork to create angles with which to ship flurries, the likes of which have felled Oscar de la Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto, Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera.

However age could also be catching as much as him.

In what could possibly be his final skilled battle, the 42-year-old misplaced towards Cuban Yordenis Ugas in Las Vegas final month — the eighth defeat of a glittering profession spanning greater than 20 years.

The game purchased him fame, energy, affect and wealth, and with it, the vices: booze, playing, cockfighting and romantic hyperlinks to lovely movie stars that at one level practically wrecked his marriage.

However in 2012 Pacquiao, now a father of 5, discovered faith and left his playboy-lifestyle behind.

Pacquiao has additionally served as a star endorser for merchandise starting from home equipment to pizza and vehicles, hosted TV reveals, starred in films and had an inconceivable stint as an expert basketball participant and coach.

He launched an expert basketball league in 2017 and based his personal cryptocurrency, the “PAC Token”.

Identified for his generosity and customary contact, he has given away big quantities of cash to pals, supporters and the poor. He’s recognized for accommodating his followers, letting them watch his coaching classes.

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