UPDATE: Manny Pacquiao has decided to enter a different sort of ring. The boxing legend will now run for president of the Philippines.
Pacquiao, already a senator in his native land, will mount a campaign to take over when current President Rodrigo Duterte’s term is over in June 2022. Pacquiao’s announcement comes less than a month after losing a fight to Yordenis Ugas in which he was heavily favored.
The 42-year-old Pacquiao accepted the nomination for president during the national assembly of the PDP-Laban Party.
“I am a fighter, and I will always be a fighter inside and outside the ring,’ Pacquiao said in a live-streamed speech during the assembly. ‘I am accepting your nomination as candidate for president of the Republic of the Philippines.”
One of the greatest boxers of all-time, Pacquiao is the only man to hold world titles in eight different divisions.
EARLIER: One of the greatest boxers of all-time may have reached the end of his career. Manny Pacquiao, an eight-division world champion, lost to Yordenis Ugas on Saturday night by unanimous decision, with Ugas retaining his super welterweight title.
At age 42, it was a disheartening loss for Pacquiao, who was the heavy favorite.
Fans attempting to tune in to the PPV event from Las Vegas also were disheartened. A massive technical glitch on Spectrum cable in at least the Los Angeles area had techs scrambling. There were two big events going on at the same time, with the WWE Summer Slam also competing for customers.
Pacquiao, who has been boxing for 26 years, now faces a decision. But unlike most fighters, his future is far from dim. He has long been rumored as the next president of his native Philippines, which has an election coming up next year after the expiring term of current President Rodrigo Duterte. His term expires next June. Pacquiao has served his country as a senator of the Philippines since 2016.
Ugás was a last-minute replacement on the card. Errol Spence Jr., the original opponent, sustained a detached retina injury in training, opening the door for Ugas just 11 days before the scheduled fight. He beat Pacquiao by unanimous decision with an impressive technical performance.
“He’s a great competitor, but I came in here to show I am the champion of the WBA,” Ugás said. “A lot of respect for him, but I won this fight.”
Pacquiao was the solid favorite, but struggled to get inside on Ugás’ effective jab.
“I’m very excited, but most of all, I want to thank Manny Pacquiao for giving me this moment in this ring today,” Ugás said through a translator. “We only had two weeks of training, but I listened to my corner and it all worked out.”
Two judges scored it 116-112 for Ugás, and a third had it 115-113. The Associated Press also scored it 116-112 for Ugás.
A visibly disappointed Pacquiao said he hasn’t decided whether he will fight again. He also wouldn’t confirm whether he will enter the Philippines’ presidential race, as is widely expected. He intends to make an announcement next month.
“Let me rest first before my family and I make a decision,” Pacquiao said.
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