Pacquiao: I’ll fight as boxer, congressman

World boxing champion Manny Pacquiao believes he can continue his phenomenal career in the ring while fulfilling his dream of helping his poor countrymen as a politician.
“It just needs discipline. You just need time management,” he said.
Still on a high after winning a congressional seat representing impoverished Sarangani province, Pacquiao, 31, said he would continue fighting—both as an athlete and legislator for the people.







“There are many problems in my province, many people who need help and, one by one, we will decide what to do to help them,” said Pacquiao at a grand celebration in his hometown Saturday night.


“I am happy that I won and that people voted for me but it is also a great responsibility and so I must help my countrymen,” said Pacquiao, known as Pacman, who grew up dirt-poor until boxing brought him world fame and riches.

“My agenda is livelihood programs, education, health care and medical assistance. I am thinking of all kinds of bills to pass in Congress.”
The party, at a convention center attended by more than 1,000 people, marked the 61st birthday of his mother, Dionisia, and his landslide victory in last week’s national elections.
Pacquiao also said he would continue making commercial endorsements, a sideline that helped make him the world’s sixth highest-paid athlete last year with earnings of $40 million, according to Forbes magazine.

But asked what his priority would be among his many occupations, Pacquiao said: “For now, I will focus on service.”
Pacquiao has long dreamed of a political career, saying he was driven by a fierce desire to help the poor and that public office would be his way of paying society back for the support Filipinos have given him.
Immediately after his election victory was confirmed last week, Pacquiao said he would give in to his mother’s wishes and fight just one more time—in a long-awaited bout with 33-year-old American Floyd Mayweather Jr.

However, Pacquiao hinted he might still have some more fights left in him.

“My mother gave me one more fight. I respect my Mama but it is up to me whether to continue boxing or not,” he said.

Agence France-Presse /Philippine Daily Inquirer

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