Los Angeles: Manny Pacquiao played down reports linking him to a bid for the presidency of the Philippines, insisting he remained solely focused on the twilight of his boxing career.
The 40-year-old boxer, already a member of the Philippines Senate, has been repeatedly linked to a future run for the presidency in his homeland where he remains a national hero.
However Pacquiao told reporters Wednesday he had put any future political aspirations on hold as he prepares to defend his World Boxing Association regular welterweight title against Adrien Broner January 19 in Las Vegas.
“A lot of people are saying that I can be the next President,” Pacquiao told this agency. “But I’m not thinking about that. I don’t have plans right now. Whatever path that God gives to me I will fulfill it,” he added.
“Being a public servant is different from sports. It’s more on the mind and a lot of problems, thinking about how to solve those problems in the country, and also to provide solution to those problems,” he asserted.
Pacquiao is reuniting with longtime trainer Freddie Roach for his clash with Broner at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, following a two-year rupture in what was once regarded as one of the most tightly knit fighter-trainer relationships in boxing.
Pacquiao, 60-7 with two draws and 39 knockouts in a career that began in 1995, meanwhile came face to face with old rival Floyd Mayweather while attending an NBA game at the Staples Center Tuesday. Mayweather scored a victory over Pacquiao in a lucrative 2015 bout before heading into retirement. Speculation of a possible rematch has continued to rumble despite Mayweather’s absence from the ring.