This was the general sentiment of Manny Pacquiao’s colleagues in the House of Representatives as doubts on the Filipino boxing icon’s skills and durability cropped up after a narrow and controversial win over Mexican boxer Juan Manuel Marquez in Las Vegas last Saturday.
“He should focus on boxing these last five years (of his career) because everything he’s got—position, money and future possibilities—all depend on his boxing success,” said Parañaque Representative Roilo Golez in a text message to the Inquirer.
Iloilo Rep. Neil Tupas Jr. said that he believed that Pacquiao, a Sarangani representative, should continue fighting because he was still in his prime despite questions about his boxing prowess after failing to knock out Marquez.
“But if he chooses to fight, I think it is better if he just concentrates on that and not … juggle too many things at the same time,” said Tupas in a text message.
Some pundits claim that while Pacquiao has the money and the popularity to make a successful run for any national office he may be eyeing now, it remains to be seen whether his fame and fortune would still be there when he does become eligible for those posts.
Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum, had boldly predicted that the former pandesal vendor from General Santos City would become President someday but the earliest possible time that could happen would be in the May 2022 national elections when the boxing icon turns 43.
Pacquiao is reportedly planning to run for governor in next year’s elections with an eye on a seat in the Senate in 2016, when he turns 37 and eligible to run for senator.
While the eight-division champion has been feted as the best pound-for pound fighter in the world in the past few years, Pacquiao’s bout last Saturday has led some pundits to doubt whether he deserved such accolade after failing to finish off Marquez.
Since reaching unprecedented successes in the boxing world, Pacquiao has become a congressman, game-show host, recording artist and movie actor, aside from being a celebrity endorser and sought-after guest in local and international media events.
Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara said it would be ideal if Pacquiao focused solely on boxing in the final stretch of his illustrious career. “But this will be difficult to achieve because everybody wants a piece of Manny, everyone wants to see him go out a winner,” said Angara who reckoned that Pacquiao still has two to three “marquee” fights left in his career.
San Juan City Rep. Joseph Victor Ejercito said Pacquiao’s fame could be hurting his . “I think his being an international star is affecting his focus on boxing. He has so many commitments and activities. Likewise, the stars and athletes visit him in training camp and that surely distracts him in his preparations,” said Ejercito, who noted that the boxer suffered leg cramps during the fight that pundits blamed on his training routine.