Manny Pacquiao is arguably at the height of his popularity as a boxer. Yet at 32 years old, Pacquiao has shown physiscal signs of slowing down and likely has only a few more fights and years as an elite fighter. Retirement from the ring isn’t a big topic with the Mayweather bout still looming and millions to be made, but the exit plan was laid when Pacquiao became an elected member of the Filipino Congress last year. In the below blog writeup to promote the November 12 showdown with Juan Manuel Marquez, Manny Pacquiao details the contrasts between handling boxing and politics, and why now he no longer defines his life by what happens in the ring.
Though boxing has always been my passion, I consider public service to be my calling. For both, I have a great responsibility to my people.
I have been very fortunate in achieving a certain amount of fame through my achievements inside the ring. As a boxer and a world champion, I have been allowed to raise the international awareness of my country. But more importantly, it has given me a large platform to bring attention to the needs of so many in my country. To give a voice to those who are not strong enough to speak for themselves.
There is a big difference in being a professional fighter and being a congressman. As a boxer I have more individual control when it comes to achieving my goals. I train hard, I do my homework and I fight to the best of my abilities with only one obstacle in my way — my opponent.
As a Congressman, the pace is slower and more measured because of the nature of government. That is by design to provoke thought and debate so that hopefully the best solution to the problems of the nation and the provinces we represent are met in the best possible way. It takes patience and it takes cooperation. Compromise is the bridge that leads to solutions many times. It forces us to consider the pros and cons of the issues and though it can be frustrating at times I understand the rationale behind the process. The immediacy and action of boxing is a stark contrast to the rules of procedure and the deliberate pace of government.
As a boxer I carry the pride and love of the Filipino people on my shoulders. It inspires me to train harder and motivates me to win. I am their representative to millions of people around the world who watch me in the ring. I am humbled by their support.
As a public servant the responsibility to “perform” is even greater because for many, lives and livelihoods are at stake. Where can I do the greatest good? Every day I am faced with these decisions. It is an awesome responsibility. I was chosen by my people to be their voice. To help them. To improve their lives. It isn’t something an eight-week training camp can cure. It is a lifetime quest that I have only just begun.
It’s wonderful to be a world champion boxer, but it’s an individual achievement that can’t last forever. Public servant is the title that defines me. Public service is where I feel I can do the most good for so many.
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Episode #2 of the all-access reality series “24/7 Pacquiao/Marquez” premieres Saturday, Oct. 29 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on HBO. Episode #1 is available at HBO ON DEMAND® and HBO GO® in addition to multiple replays on the network. The four-part series premieres on three consecutive Saturday nights before the finale airs the night before the welterweight championship showdown in Las Vegas
The Pacquiao-Marquez III world championship telecast, which begins at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT, will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View and will be available to more than 92 million pay-per-view homes. The telecast will be available in HD-TV for those viewers who can receive HD. HBO Pay-Per-View, a division of Home Box Office, Inc., is the leading supplier of event programming to the pay-per-view industry. For Pacquiao-Marquez III fight week updates, log on to www.hbo.com