HOLLYWOOD – Former US President Bill Clinton could yet become the perfect endorser for boxing superstar and congressman Manny Pacquiao if and when he decides to seek the highest position in the land someday.
Clinton and Pacquiao were both special guests in the late-night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live, and while both appeared separately in the program, the once powerful man in the world couldn’t hide his admiration for the pride of the Philippines.
“I think he’s a great guy and a great role model for the country,” said the two-term US president who served from 1992 to 2000.
The former Arkansas governor is aware of the 35-year-old Pacquiao being a two-term member of Congress, a position which he said could possibly lead to bigger things in the future.
“He’s already in the Philippine parliament and I hope he goes up that ladder.”
Clinton, the 42nd president of the US, appeared in the show to talk about the active worldwide foundation he put up together with wife Hillary, the former New York senator and secretary of state, and daughter Chelsea.
Pacquiao, in his eighth appearance in the hourly-night program, discussed his coming welterweight title rematch against Timothy Bradley on April 13 (Manila time) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
The two popular figures exchanged a few words backstage before the show on ABC, marking the second time both of them personally met. In 2009, Clinton had Pacquiao fetched while in Las Vegas for his fight against Ricky Hatton, their photo together taken at the Four Seasons Hotel gladly shown by Kimmel before his live audience.
The talk show host later asked Pacquiao about his thoughts on what Clinton just said and the Pinoy hero humbly replied he’s focused on his job as congressman of Sarangani province.
“Right now I’m focused on my position as a congressman, and of course, on boxing,” said Pacquiao, who is rumored to be seeking the presidency of the country in 2022.
The eight-time world champion, who held his media workout at the Wild Card gym earlier in the day with trainer Freddie Roach, added he’d rather not think about anything other than his return bout against Bradley, who dethroned him as World Boxing Organization (WBO) champion in 2012 after scoring a controversial split decision.
“I’m focused more on aggressiveness, on throwing more punches because I want to prove to him (Bradley) that my killer instinct is always there,” said the 35-year-old challenger.
The stunning loss to Bradley also appeared to have given Pacquiao the extra motivation that he’s the clear winner of their first meeting.
“Because of pride and ego that he claimed he won the fight,” the Filipino southpaw said. “It challenges me, it inspires me to work hard, to focus. The last time I became too nice to him in the ring.”