Los Angeles - Manny Pacquiao played down reports linking him
to a bid for the presidency of the Philippines on Wednesday, insisting he
remained solely focused on the twilight of his boxing career.
The 40-year-old boxer, already a member of the Philippines
Senate, has been repeatedly linked to a future run for the presidency in his
homeland where he remains a national hero.
However Pacquiao told reporters on Wednesday he had put any
future political aspirations on hold as he prepares to defend his World Boxing
Association regular welterweight title against Adrien Broner on January 19 in
"A lot of people are saying that I can be the next
President," Pacquiao said.
"But I'm not thinking about that. I don't have plans
right now. Whatever path that God gives to me I will fulfill it."
"Being a public servant is different from sports. It's
more on the mind and a lot of problems, thinking about how to solve those
problems in the country, and also to provide solution to those problems."
Pacquiao is reuniting with long time trainer Freddie Roach
for his clash with Broner at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, following a two-year
rupture in what was once regarded as one of the most tightly knit
fighter-trainer relationships in boxing.
Roach, who had worked with Pacquiao for 15 years before they
parted ways in 2017, said he is convinced the Filipino is eyeing a future run
for the presidency.
"I haven't spoken to him to about running for president
but he wants to help the people and the best way to help people is to be the
boss," Roach told reporters.
"He probably wants to be the first President to win a
world championship. He's always been guy who does 100 things at once."
Pacquiao, 60-7 with two draws and 39 knockouts in a career
that began in 1995, meanwhile came face to face with old rival Floyd Mayweather
while attending an NBA game at the Staples Centre on Tuesday.
Mayweather scored a victory over Pacquiao in a lucrative
2015 bout before later heading into retirement. Speculation of a possible
rematch has continued to rumble despite Mayweather's absence from the ring.
For the time being though Pacquiao insists he is not looking
"My plan is one at a time," Pacquiao said. "I
cannot say about the future until January 19.
"After that we'll have a press conference. Leave it as
a question mark for now."
However Pacquiao made it clear he is determined to reclaim
his status as a serious force in the division.
"I've accomplished what I wanted to accomplish,"
he said. "But I want to maintain my name at the top and to show that even
at 40 years old I can still give the best of Manny Pacquiao, the speed, the