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Pacquiao back on the campaign trail

/ 10:28 PM April 15, 2016
Manny Pacquiao during the final press conference at the David Copperfield Theater inside MGM Hotel in Las Vegas, April 6, 2016.    PHOTO BY REM ZAMORA

Manny Pacquiao during the final press conference at the David Copperfield Theater inside MGM Hotel in Las Vegas, April 6, 2016. PHOTO BY REM ZAMORA

ONE OF THE biggest election undercards to the main events of the national polls—the presidential and vice presidential derbies—is the senatorial run of boxing icon Manny Pacquiao, who scored a unanimous decision over Timothy Bradley at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas last Sunday.

The bankable boxer said his third encounter with Bradley was his last, although many are skeptical, including his Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach and his promoter Bob Arum. Both say they won’t be surprised if Pacquiao changed his mind and decided to fight again.

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Given the history of unretirements in boxing, many believe that Pacquiao would return to the ring for a rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr., who beat him in the so-called “fight of the century” that turned out to be a dud 11 months ago.

If he hangs his gloves for good, Pacquiao’s purses and product endorsement fees from a 20-year professional career would total $500 million.

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Forbes Magazine reports that he would be third in all-time earnings among sports supernovas, behind his archenemy, Mayweather ($700 million) and the NBA’s Kobe Bryant, who retires after this season with $680 million in combined income.

The Pacman is back home and out on the hustings again. Voter preference polls before the Bradley fight listed him in the winners’ circle of the Senate contest, with 12 spots available.

Pacquiao’s candidacy continues his love feast with the masses and his running feud with voters who say he is unfit to become a senator.

His supporters believe that should the Pacman win, he will work for the poor in the Senate.

Detractors rue his lack of experience and education for senatorial duties and his chronic absenteeism as a solon from Sarangani.

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Aristeo Valdez is challenging the incumbent, Ericson Singson, for mayor of Candon City, Ilocos Sur, in the May 9 elections.

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A 60-something businessman, Valdez is the voice of people clamoring for change in my adopted hometown.

He faces an uphill climb to unseat the youthful Singson, a medical doctor and scion of the dynasty that has controlled politics in the province’s second district for the last 42 years.

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“We are not grading ourselves,” retorted Ed Picson when pressed for a performance report on elite boxers trying to nail slots to the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

The executive director of the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (Abap) says “we’re optimistic about getting four to five qualifiers for the Brazil Games.” And Abap president Ricky Vargas “has bowed to provide all the tools necessary for them (qualifiers) to do well in Rio,” according to Picson.

A training camp in the United States is planned for Brazil-bound boxers. It’s similar to the California camp 14 fighters attended before the recent Asia-Oceania qualifiers in China.

Two out of six Abap boxers who competed in Qian’an—Charly Suarez and Roget Ladon—made it to the Olympics.

Irish Magno and Josie Gabuco will get the chance to qualify at the Women’s Championships in Astana, Kazakhstan, on May 19 to 27.

London Olympian Mark Anthony Barriga banners the boxers competing in the APB-WSB qualifiers in Sofia, Bulgaria, in late June and the Aiba world qualifier in Baku, Azerbaijan, on June 14 to 26.

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TAGS: Bob Arum, campaign, Manny Pacquiao, senator, Timothy Bradley
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