Boxing loss is possibly Pacquiao’s political win

By Oliver Teves ,AP

MANILA, Philippines — Manny Pacquiao lost his biggest fight in the ring, but that won’t stop him from plotting a bigger comeback �X in the political arena that is.

In a country where elections are also entertainment and political programs secondary, candidates often win because of star power and money.

Pacquaio, who earned more than US$100 million despite losing the Fight of the Century against Floyd Mayweather Jr. last weekend, certainly has that working for him.

But can he overcome his poor record as an incumbent congressman, his humble origins and lack of political savvy to win a Senate seat, or even higher office?

Having established himself as a local politician, the natural path for the 36-year-old Pacquiao would be the 24-seat Senate, a national position, which has been used as a springboard for vice president or president. His most ardent supporters say he can be a future president.

The Bible-quoting boxer, who by law cannot run for president before turning 40, has said his ��thoughts on the presidency … are merely aspirational.�� His first presidential race would be in 2022.

That could be harder than defeating Mayweather, but he can take comfort in the thought that Filipinos love the underdog. His rags-to-riches story �X rising from extreme poverty to becoming the wealthiest Philippine congressman �X has captured the imagination of the millions in his Southeast Asian nation.

Pacquiao the underdog played well at home after it was disclosed that even with his shoulder injured he still fought aggressively against Mayweather, said political analyst and public administration professor Prospero de Vera.

He said the way Pacquiao lost the fight ��actually enhances his political viability�� and could help him win as senator in elections next year.