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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Politics will be Pacquiao’s next big fight after 2009

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao is set to retire in 2009 to prepare for taking on the bigger challenge of being a public servant.

Pacquiao renewed his desire to serve the people, saying he would be ready to hang up his gloves after fighting twice this year and prepare for the 2010 national elections. He is reportedly seeking a congressional seat to represent General Santos City.

He said that he was just following what his heart desires.

"My heart wants to help others. That is why I am offering myself to serve them," Pacquiao said.

Pacquiao, who will fight British boxer Ricky Hatton on May 2, ran in the 2007 elections but lost to incumbent South Cotabato Rep. Darlene Antonino-Custodio.

His plan of running once again in 2010 drew mixed reactions from his Filipino boxing fans.

“Even in boxing a lot of people are against me," Pacquiao said. "When I fought De La Hoya they are also against it. Every time I fight and in my victories there are people who oppose me. I want to help and serve the people. I had already achieved my dream of becoming a world champion despite all the hardships I faced."

Pacquiao is a multi-titled boxer who won in various weight divisions. He gained the respect of the international boxing world when he fought and won three times last year, even beating the legendary Oscar De La Hoya in a nontitle bout.

Pacquiao also tried his luck in acting, doing a movie in 2005 and 2008, and appearing in cameo roles in various television shows. He also recorded an album and is one of country’s most sought-after product endorsers.

He has opened several businesses in General Santos City and is finishing a degree in usiness management. Cebu’s Southwestern University will confer on him a Doctor in Human Kinetics (honoris causa) on Feb. 18. – GMANews.TV


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