Pacquiao As Senator
Manny Pacquiao. AP FILE PHOTO
Senator Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao denied reports that he is mulling taking a leave from the Senate to return to the boxing ring.
In a statement issued on his official Facebook page, Pacquiao said that his top priority right now is focusing on crafting laws.
“There is no truth to media reports that I’m planning to take a leave from my Senate duties just to fight again atop the ring. I want to make it clear–my priority is my legislative works,” Pacquiao, a chronic absentee during his stint as Sarangani representative, said.
The boxer-turned-senator said that when he ran and won during the May 9 polls, he vowed to be present in all sessions in the Congress’ upper chamber.
“I owe it to the people,” he said.
Pacquiao said that his next fight has not yet been scheduled and should he decide to take on another opponent in the ring, he would not allow it to interfere with his duties in the Senate.
“If ever I decide to fight again, rest assured it will happen when Congress is on recess so there’s no need for me to go on leave,” the senator said.
The Filipino boxing champion also emphasized that politics for him is a “vocation, not a means to eke out a living.”
“I want to maintain that belief. I want to keep my dignity intact while in public service,” he said.
Reports quoted Top Rank CEO Bob Arum saying that Pacquiao, a neophyte senator, will take a leave so that he can prepare for his next fight.
“He is going to fight. I don’t know what the date is. He is working with the President of the Philippine Senate for an appropriate date where he can leave the Philippines for two or three weeks to prepare for a fight,” Arum told Boxingscene.com.
Top Rank has made a pencil reservation for October 15 at Mandalay Bay Events Center for Pacquiao’s possible return in the ring.
After his unanimous win against Timothy Bradley last April, Pacquiao announced that he would retire from boxing.
He was constantly hit for his chronic absenteeism when he served as a member of the House of Representatives for two terms.
The 17th Congress, where Pacquiao belongs, is set to convene on July 25. IDL