Manila: Win or lose in his mega-bucks fight this weekend, Philippine boxing legend Manny Pacquiao will land knockout blows to his political rivals with priceless media coverage ahead of the national elections.
Welterweight boxers Manny Pacquiao (left) and Timothy Bradley Jr at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas recently. pic/AFP
The eight-time world champ is running for Senate and controversially scheduled his bout against Timothy Bradley a month before polling day. The fight will ensure most Filipinos will watch live broadcasts on Sunday morning, local time, while media coverage of the build-up has already gifted him tens of millions of dollars worth of free advertising. The strategy has rivals fuming, accusing him of below-the-belt tactics that circumvent election campaign advertisement spending laws.
“If he had a sense of sportsmanship, he wouldn’t be staging the fight just one month before the elections,” senatorial candidate Walden Bello, who filed a failed legal challenge to reschedule the bout, told AFP.
Pacquiao (37), is hoping a stint in the Senate will serve as a platform for an eventual presidential run.