6 Apr 2013

Pacquiao plans comeback while running for office

10:22 am on 6 April 2013

Philippine boxing hero Manny Pacquiao plans to fight again in September, with the bout likely to be staged outside the United States to avoid high taxes.

Negotiations are ongoing for a rematch with Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez, who knocked Pacquiao out in his last fight in December, although the opponent and the venue are yet to be finalised.

Pacquiao, 34, is running for re-election as a congressman in next month's Philippine mid-term elections, and he is currently on the campaign trail.

Pacquiao has won an unprecedented eight world titles in different weight divisions, and was until recently regarded by many as the best pound-for-pound boxer.

But Pacquiao lost his World Boxing Organisation welterweight crown in June last year in a controversial points decision to US fighter Timothy Bradley, then suffered his shock knockout defeat to Marquez.

His losses prompted calls for him to retire, but Pacquiao has consistently signalled his intention to keep on fighting.

Pacquiao's sporting achievements lifted him and his family out of deep poverty, as he became one of the highest paid sportsmen in the world and an endorser of a myriad of products in the Philippines.

He translated his boxing success into the political ring, winning a seat in the nation's lower house of parliament in 2010.

Pacquiao is running for re-election unopposed in the May polls, while seeking to build a power base for his family.

Pacquiao's wife and brother are also running for political posts in the May elections.

Many Philippine politicians draft in relatives to stand for other elective positions to spread their influence and strengthen their power networks.