A year ago Manny Pacquiao was preparing for the final fight of his boxing career. The 43 year old is now involved in a battle of a very different type and the stakes could not be higher.

Pacquiao is campaigning to be president of the Philippines. Instead of hitting the road to get his running in he is hitting the campaign trail and jetting all over the country for campaign rallies.

Last stop for Pacquiao was Cebu where he was greeted by an adoring crowd in a city long synonymous with the sport of boxing:


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Massive underdog

Pacquiao is a massive underdog in this fight. Not since his early days as an unknown boxer in the US fighting against the likes of Lehlohonolo Ledwaba and Marco Antonio Barrera can the odds have been stacked quite so heavily against him.

The current favourite to win the election is Ferdinand Marcos Jr who is favoured by 56% of respondents to a recent poll according to Bloomberg. Leni Robredo was on 23% while Pacquiao came in a distant third with just 7%.

So it seems unlikely that the boxer turned politician will win the biggest prize of them all, the presidency of the Philippines. But he is more than 20 years younger than Marcos Jnr so, like an up and coming boxing prospect, time is on his side.


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Exhibition fights

If Pacquiao does decide to walk away from politics, and there doesn’t appear to be any prospect of that happening just yet, he could definitely return to a lucrative career in boxing. Many veterans are making money putting on exhibition fights.

The most notable is Floyd Mayweather who is set to take on former sparring partner Don Moore on a helipad in Abu Dhabi next month. That card will also feature former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva.

Silva has beaten both Julio Cesar Chavez Jnr and Tito Ortiz in recent months although they were both sanctioned boxing bouts rather than exhibitions. Meanwhile YouTuber Jake Paul has boxed both Ben Askren and Tyron Woodley.

Biggest upset

His brother, Logan Paul, faced Mayweather in an exhibition bout. The undefeated boxer has also been in with Tenshin Nasukawa since retiring from formal, sanctioned competition.

There is no question that Pacquiao could make money from boxing in the current climate and he wouldn’t need to commit to the type of grueling 12 round world title fights he became famous for. But just now he has a country to compete for!

Tomorrow is election day in the Philippines. Pacquiao is a big underdog but he will be hoping to pull off what would probably go down as the biggest upset in political history.