Current pound-for-pound boxing champ Manny Pacquiao has apparently (from numerous reports) won election to a congressional seat in the Republic of the Philippines. In an election marred by gunfire and violence, Pacquiao looks to have defeated his 61-year-old opponent Roy Chiongbian in a landslide.
Pacquiao’s team has already declared victory, which would make the 31-year-old the first active professional boxer to hold national public office.
Pacquiao was soundly beaten in his first attempt to run for office in 2007. He lost that election because of a poorly run, unfocused campaign. This time he refused to let that happen as he poured more than $1 million into his bid.
He took a page out of Barack Obama’s campaign book by establishing a serious grass-roots effort to the campaign and targeting the poorer areas of the province he ran in. It seemed easy for Pacquiao to blend in as a man of the people, considering he grew up on the streets of the Philippines, selling stolen cigarettes to survive.
Boxing was his way out of poverty but many in his country aren’t so fortunate. Hopefully someone of his considerable public power and influence can actually do a world of good in the Philippines. Clearly Pacquiao feels that he can succeed and help his country turn a corner.
Congratulations to Manny Pacquiao on what has to be the most satisfying victory of his life.