Philippines’ Manny Pacquiao to run for president in 2022

Manny Pacquiao, the Filipino boxing hero, has announced his candidacy for president in 2022, promising to fight poverty and corruption while appealing to voters with his rags-to-riches story.

“The time has come — we are ready to take on the leadership challenge,” Pacquiao, a senator, said Sunday as he accepted the nomination of a rival faction in President Rodrigo Duterte’s ruling party.

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The eight-division world champion and adored national hero made the statement just weeks after losing to Cuban Yordenis Ugas in Las Vegas in what could be his final professional bout.

Pacquiao, who first entered politics as a congressman in 2010 before being elected to the Senate, had long been tipped to run for President of the Philippines.

Many in the island nation respect the 42-year-old for his generosity and for rising from poverty to become one of the world’s greatest and wealthiest boxers.

However, the high school dropout’s backing for Duterte’s deadly drug war, as well as past comments labeling gay couples as “worse than animals,” have garnered him a slew of critics.

In a country known for celebrity-obsessed politics, Pacquiao’s star power will place him in a good position in the presidential contest. However, it will not ensure victory.

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