Manny Pacquiao lost in the Philippine presidential race, fueling speculation about his possible return to the squared circle.
According to the latest partial and unofficial count of the May 9th Presidential elections, ‘PacMan’ placed third among preferred presidential candidates, trailing far behind Bongbong Marcos Jr. and Vice President Leni Robredo.
The 41-year-old retired from boxing following a defeat to Cuban Yordenis Ugas in 2021. The same year, he announced his decision to seek the highest seat in the archipelagic country.
World Boxing News recently reported that talks on Pacquiao’s return to the ring have already begun.
The news site suggested that boxing’s only eight-division champion will need money after spending a lot on his ambitious presidential run. It added that rumors of a fight in Las Vegas are "already in the pipeline."
Should the Filipino boxing icon decide to return to boxing, his foiled matchup with Errol Spence Jr. may finally happen. Pacquiao was supposed to face ‘The Truth’ before the unbeaten American suffered an eye injury. Ugas replaced Spence Jr. and went on to beat Pacquiao.
Spence Jr. then beat Ugas in April to become the Unified WBA, WBC and IBF Welterweight Champion. This sets up a possible undisputed unification bout with another welterweight titleholder, Terence Crawford.
Manny Pacquiao accepts defeat in Philippine elections
Pacquiao, currently a Senator in the Philippines, threw in the towel and has accepted his defeat in politics. ‘PacMan’ recently conceded to presidential race frontrunner Bongbong Marcos Jr.
In a video statement posted on his social media accounts, Pacquiao urged his followers to support the new Philippine leader as he declared that the “elections are over.” He said in a mix of Filipino and English:
“My decision to run was driven by my utmost desire to serve the country and uplift the life of poor Filipinos. As a boxer and an athlete, I know how to accept defeat. I hope that even though I lost this fight, the Filipino people will win, especially the poor.”
Pacquiao then thanked his family, especially his wife Jinkee, who accompanied and supported him throughout the grueling 90-day campaign period.
The outgoing senator said he would take the time to rest and be with his family. He made no mention of his future plans in boxing or politics but promised to continue his mission of helping his fellow Filipinos.
“Thank you very much to my fellow Filipinos for the opportunity. Manny Pacquiao loves you very much whatever happens. My heart truly cares for the poor people who are suffering. Again, thank you very much and I may the Lord will take care of you.”
Watch Manny Pacquiao's full statement here: