SINGAPORE – Having lost the “fight of the century” to Floyd Mayweather Jr., Filipino boxer Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao now has to deal with a class-action lawsuit accusing him of hiding a shoulder injury before the match. Assuming he can dispatch that case better than he did Mayweather, though, his next challenge is clear: “He’s going to be president,” promoter Bob Arum recently told TMZ Sports.
Arum, like most boxing impresarios, is admittedly not given to understatement. Still, the scenario he lays out is plausible. Pacquiao, 36, is already a two-term legislator in the Philippines. He plans to run for the Senate next year — a nationwide contest in which his unmatched popularity should serve him well. Six years later, when he’ll finally have passed the age threshold to become president, he’ll have at least a fighting chance at the nation’s highest office. In 2013 polls, almost 40 models, actors and other celebrities (including Pacquiao and his wife, Jinkee) ran for office. In 1998, former actor Joseph Estrada actually became president.