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article imageOp-Ed: Why Manny Pacquiao needs to fight until 2015

By Leo Reyes     Jan 28, 2013 in Sports
Following his stunning loss to Mexican counter-puncher Juan Manuel Marquez on December 8, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada, eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao said he is ready to fight again in April.
But his promoter, Bob Arum and trainer Freddie Roach said they want Pacquiao to take a long rest after being slapped a 90-day suspension from fighting by the Nevada Athletic Commission (NSAC). He was likewise barred from sparring for the first 60 days of the ban.
Doctors at the University Medical Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, where Pacquiao was brought after his knockout loss to Marquez, gave him a clean bill of health based on the MRI examination result.
Upon his return to Manila, he had another medical examination at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan, Metro Manila and was likewise certified negative of any brain damage.
Concerned about his health, at least two doctors have asked Pacquiao to consider retiring now as they are of the opinion that the boxing superstar is showing early signs of Parkinson's disease.
Pacquiao is yet to address Arum's call for him to be examined thoroughly by the Cleveland Clinic brain center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Read more.
Despite the numerous calls for him to retire now while he is still in good health, Pacquiao said he wants to fight again in April against an opponent that is yet to be named.
Seemingly, Pacquiao wants to sustain his popularity (he remains very popular despite his loss), in preparation for his plan to run for senator in 2016. Pacquiao is an incumbent congressman and running for reelection unopposed in May 2013 election.
Unlike a congressional position where the electorate is concentrated on electoral districts, the senate post is a national elective position with nationwide constituency.
The next national election is set for 2016 and with Pacquiao's plan to seek a senate post, he must reach out to a national constituency during the campaign.
As in any electoral contest, the candidate must be popular not only in his own district but throughout the country.
Obviously, the best way of sustaining his soaring popularity is to keep on fighting until the end of 2015 in preparation for the 2016 senatorial elections.
It doesn't matter if he is victorious or not in his upcoming fights. Pacquiao has the support of his Filipino fans regardless of whether he wins or loses in a fight. Filipinos have rallied behind Pacquiao even in defeat as they have shown during his recent loss to Marquez.
Pacquiao is a dreamer. His triumph over poverty inspired him to dream of one day becoming a world boxing champion and in less than a decade in his craft, he became not just a world champion but a symbol of inspiration for the young dreamers of the world.
Pacquiao dreams of one day becoming a congressman so he can serve the poorest of the poor under his constituency. He lost in his first attempt but with his pro poor platform during his last campaign in Sarangani, he got elected with the biggest margin.
Now, Pacquiao dreams of serving a national constituency, believing that the government needs to uplift the life of the poor all over the country.
Critics say, Pacquiao needs the senate post as his springboard to the presidency in 2022.
Those who frown on young, popular and rising politicians, are saying Pacquiao is not suited for the presidency because he lacks proper and formal education.
But the country's fundamental law only provides that: " No person may be elected president unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, a registered voter, able to read and write, at least forty years of age on the day of the election, and a resident of the Philippines for at least ten years immediately preceding such election."
None of the provisions in the constitution say that the a candidate for presidency should be a high school or college graduate.
Therefore Pacquiao has every right to join the presidential election in 2022 and to dream of one day becoming a president of his beloved country.
So, let Pacquiao dream!
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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