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10 Questions for Manny Pacquiao

4 minute read
Ishaan Tharoor

How do you juggle being a Congressman in Manila with the preparation for a fight?
It’s just time management. If there is an important matter that we’re going to discuss in Congress, I have to be there. But right now there is no important agenda, so the Speaker allowed me to travel.

Why keep fighting?
Because I grew up in boxing, and that’s my passion. As long as I can fight, I will fight. I don’t want to retire early and then come back after I’ve retired; when that time comes and I retire, then no more. Totally no more — no comebacks.

What do you still want to prove as a boxer?
I want to prove, especially in this fight on Nov. 23 with Brandon Rios, that Manny Pacquiao can still fight, prove that my boxing career’s not done yet. This is going to be a good fight because I’m not picking an easy opponent. I’m picking a good boxer, a good, aggressive fighter. It’s going to be fun.

(VIDEO: 10 Questions for Manny Pacquiao)

If you lose, will you call it quits?
I’m not thinking negative — I always think positive.

The fight takes place in Macau, China. How important is the Chinese market for boxing?
It’s really a big opportunity for me and for boxing. We have a chance to promote boxing in China. It’s a good thing that the fight is in Macau, not only for China but for the whole of Asia, especially the Philippines. It’s very close to the Philippines, one-hour-and-a-half flight.

Are there any boxers out there whom you haven’t fought but want to?
There is one thing the fans want to see: the fight between me and Floyd Mayweather. I’m agreeing. I have no problem with it, and I’m ready to fight him, but it’s up to him if he really wants to fight … Because from the beginning they are trying to blame me, that I’m the one who doesn’t want to fight, my many reasons, alibis, saying that I don’t want the drug testing. When I agree with the drug testing, he’s asking for more [profit] sharing because he’s undefeated. I agreed to that — I’m O.K. with 45/55 or 40/60. But now I don’t know what the response is. It’s not from me; it’s from his camp.

(PHOTOS: The Rise of Manny Pacquiao)

What matters to you as a politician?
I passed the anti-human-trafficking bill. I’m the one who filed that one. And we passed a lot of bills that benefit the people of my constituency.

Do you have ambitions for higher political office — say, the presidency of the Philippines?
I’m not thinking about that now. I’m happy to be a Congressman in my province. I’m satisfied with that, being a boxer and Congressman. I think that’s what I need to focus on. That’s far away.

You’ve left the Catholic Church. What does your faith mean to you?
I’m reading the Bible; I’m following what it says and not doing the things that are not in the Bible. I still believe in Jesus Christ, I still believe in God the Father.

You’re a global celebrity. You’re a politician, you do charity work, you run businesses. Given all this, how do you want to be remembered?
I want to be remembered as a good boxer — not only inside the ring, but outside the ring — and as a good public servant. To be a champion as a public servant, serving honestly and with the fear of God.

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