Boxer Pacquiao announces his candidacy for the Philippine presidential elections, vows to “huge prison”

Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao announced yesterday that he will run for the presidency of the Philippines in 2022, ending months of speculation.

“Here’s the moment, we are ready for the challenge of the presidency,” said the 42-year-old, who has agreed to be a candidate for a breakaway faction of President Rodrigo Duterte’s party.

The announcement came weeks after his last fight in his career, when he lost in Las Vegas on August 22, against Cuban Yordenes Ogas.

Pacquiao, nicknamed “Pac-Man”, is the only boxer in history to win the world title in eight different weight classes, and he is a source of great pride for Filipinos.

During his childhood, he grew up in poor streets before entering professional boxing in January 1995 for a grant of 1,000 pesos ($22), before amassing a fortune estimated at more than $500 million.

Pacquiao entered politics in 2010, when he was elected lawmaker, before becoming a senator in 2016. He has sometimes stirred controversy with his pro-death penalty or homophobic statements.

But he is very popular in the archipelago, where his generosity and his path to success after being born into abject poverty are admired and admired.

Pacquiao has previously vowed to spare no effort, saying he would send “hundreds or thousands” of corrupt politicians to a purpose-built “huge prison”.

He started his boxing career with $22 and amassed a fortune estimated at more than $500 million.

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