LAS VEGAS - Manny Pacquiao the politician is taking his career to a higher level.
The boxing hero and two-term congressman said on Wednesday (Thursday, Manila time) that he's "80 percent" sure of running for a seat in the Philippine Senate in the national elections set two years from now.
They Said It!
“"Eighty percent, probably." Sarangani congressman Manny Pacquiao
"Eighty percent, probably," the 35-year-old Pacquiao told a horde of international mediamen just before the final press conference for his welterweight title fight with against Timothy Bradley on Saturday.
The eight-time world champion said he will likely forego a plan to seek a third time as Sarangani's representative in Congress to run for a Senate seat in 2016, which will also see the country elect a new president.
Pacquiao is not old enough to run for the presidency.
Talks about him running for a higher position came about after the topic of retirement was brought up, a subject which Pacquiao said would still be a couple of years down the road.
Asked if he would still be fighting if he's elected a Senator, Pacquiao lets out a sheepish smile.
"The work of a Congressman and a Senator is almost the same," he stressed.
The boxing superstar is reportedly being included in the senatorial lineup of Vice-President Jejomar Binay, who is seeking the highest position in the country during the 2016 polls.
Running for a seat in the Senate also meant giving life to earlier speculations that Pacquiao will be eyeing the presidency by the year 2022.
But talking like a seasoned politician, the future boxing Hall of Famer said the elections are far from his mind right now.
"My focus right now is on my job as a congressman, on how to perform better for the people," said Pacquiao, who's pregnant wife Jinkee is the current vice-governor of Sarangani.
As the only Filipino athlete who had the fortune of sharing an audience with both US Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, the Filipino congressman was asked who between the two was the better person to talk to.
With a huge smile on his face, Pacquiao retorted with a safe answer, saying "both of them."