Pac-Man's Last Fight in Ring May Seal His Philippine Senate Seat

  • Pacquiao beats Bradley with unanimous points decision
  • Victory may help incumbent congressman win Senate seat

Manny Pacquiao beat Timothy Bradley in a unanimous decision that may boost his political ambitions and help him clinch a Philippine senate seat.

Pacquiao, who confirmed his retirement from the sport after the fight, knocked down Bradley twice, showing traces of the form that made him one of the biggest names in boxing until he lost the world’s richest fight to Floyd Mayweather almost a year ago. Saturday’s welterweight fight in Las Vegas was scored 116-110 in Paquiao’s favor by all three ringside judges. The Philippine boxer lost to Bradley in 2012.

Manny Pacquiao celebrates after defeating Timothy Bradley Jr.

Photographer: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The eight-time boxing champion saw his Pulse Asia Research Inc. poll rating drop 12 points in February after saying that condoning same-sex relationship made people “worse than animals.” His latest fight may help him win back some of the supporters he lost, political analyst Richard Javad Heydarian said. The Philippines on May 9 will elect a successor to President Benigno Aquino along with 12 senators and hundreds of seats in Congress.

“His hard-won victory, which brought a great sense of pride to his country, should surely help him seal a place within the magic 12,” Heydarian, an assistant professor of political science at De La Salle University, said. “His comments against the LGBT community have surely alienated a lot of people and given him much notoriety internationally but I don’t think the backlash is big enough to prevent him from assuming higher office.”

Nike Inc., one of Pacquiao’s biggest endorsers, cut ties with the boxer in February. His pair of boxing trunks, once adorned with brand endorsements, were noticeably bare for the Bradley fight. Pacquiao, 37, is an incumbent congressman representing Sarangani province.

Former lawmaker Walden Bello had asked the Commission on Elections to rule on whether Pacquiao’s bout violated voting rules, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported. The election body said last month that it wasn’t in a position to stop the bout, the newspaper said.

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