Manny Pacquiao is one step closer to becoming president of the Philippines.
Following national elections on Monday, the wildly popular – and occasionally homophobic – boxer appears to have locked up one of 12 seats in the nation's senate. While around six percent of the total ballots still need to be counted, Pacquiao found himself sitting comfortably in seventh place, with more than 15 million votes. The final results won't be confirmed until next week, and the top 12 vote-getters will be elected to six-year terms.
It was during his campaign for the senate that Pacquiao stirred controversy when he compared same-sex couples to animals, a statement that got him dropped by Nike…but apparently did not dissuade the voters in his homeland. Pac has previously served two terms in the nation's congress and has hinted that he might one day consider running for president of the Philippines, no stretch considering his status as a national icon
However, if you thought that would mark the end of Pacquiao's fighting career – and squash any rumors of a possible Pacquiao-Mayweather rematch – you'd be wrong. Pacquiao's promoter, Bob Arum, doesn't expect to see him in the ring ever again, but his longtime trainer isn't convinced that Timothy Bradley will go down as his final opponent.
"I think he's going to take his job as senator very seriously – and he should," Freddie Roach said. "But I also think there's part of Manny that still thinks he should keep fighting. If he can fight and wants to fight, I'm ready to help him. But Senator Pacquiao has a nice ring to it."
Pacquiao's brothers were also dealt some good news this week: Bobby Pacquiao has been named one of the 12 councilors in General Santos City and Rogelio Pacquiao is set to take over as the lone representative of Sarangani. Unfortunately for them, though, that still won't be enough to lift Manny's ban from his favorite shopping mall in Los Angeles.