A recent story on the ABS-CBN news web site said Sen. Emmanuel D. Pacquiao has been mulling over quitting his post due to frustrations on what he has found out about politics.
Of course, he went on to say these frustrations are about those who keep criticizing and planning destabilization plots against President Duterte more than anything else, but he is frustrated enough to say he is unsure if he would still pursue politics after 2022, when his term as senator ends.
This is not going to be an argument for Pacquiao to get out of the political arena. He has certainly earned the right to do whatever he wants with his life. However, another news piece last week also gave us a glimpse of what Pacquiao can do if ever he decides to quit politics for good, or after he finally hangs up his gloves.
Last week the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines and Pacquiao announced that they will join hands in rekindling interest and searching for the best new boxing talent in the country through the PSC-Pacquiao Amateur Boxing Cup.
According to a statement from the PSC, the project calls for the nationwide development on the interest and participation in boxing as a sport. They will go around the country to scout potential boxers who could not only join the competition but also the national pool.
Pacquiao’s ring exploits have already positively promoted the Philippines more than most Filipino political leaders or officials. Perhaps continuing his boxing advocacy, taking on the mantle of a Freddie Roach or an Oscar de la Hoya is not such a bad idea.
Pacquiao’s MP Promotions already has former Olympian Mark Anthony Barriga, who represented the country in the 2012 London Games, and reigning International Boxing Federation junior bantamweight champion Jerwin Ancajas in its stable.
We could certainly see Pacquiao training Filipino fighters and future champions who would continue his legacy. We could see him bringing the sport of boxing into a much higher status than what it enjoys now. Only a legendary fighter like Pacquiao could rally the resources and inspiration necessary to do so.
Perhaps, if Pacquiao started as an amateur and was trained by the likes of Roach early in his career (not necessarily by him), who knows, he could easily have earned the country its first Olympic gold. He punches fast and heavy, moves like a dream and can be just as devastating in the amateurs as he has been in the professional rank.
Filipinos are good boxers. They just need the right training and ample financial support, and certainly can do with a lot less exploitation from promoters.
Boxing can be an Olympic goldmine. Countries like Cuba and Russia have proved this. We don’t have anything against basketball, the nation’s pastime, but, realistically, we can throw all the money we want into basketball, and even then we probably would never get an Olympic gold from it.
We could see Pacquiao being the country’s boxing czar, in charge of developing Filipino fighters and developing the sport itself. He could also choose to train professional fighters, like Roach does, and he could be successful at it. Having learned from Roach himself, it’s like earning a PhD in boxing from the best university in the world. Roach has shown there is also prestige and money in training professional champions. Best of all, you never have to leave the sport you love.
Or, Pacquiao could focus full-time on promoting boxers and boxing itself. A great champion naturally attracts great fighters into his stable. He can be as big inside the ring as outside of it. He could parlay his success in the ring into his business and take very good care of his fighters.
Pacquiao is already one of the greatest fighters in the history of boxing. He could still be one of its brightest stars outside the ring if, and when, he hangs up his gloves. And it certainly does not have to be in Philippine politics. No, not at all.