MANILA, Philippines - When there’s no guarantee of a victory inside the boxing ring these days, Manny Pacquiao can turn to the political ring for a sure win.
The Filipino superstar, who’s trying to keep his grip on boxing following two consecutive losses to Tim Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez last year, did just that.
He ran unopposed in last Monday’s elections and earned a second three-year term as congressman in the lone district of Sarangani.
The Commission on Elections has yet to proclaim Pacquiao an official winner, but there’s nothing that can stop him from assuming his old post.
Pacquiao’s wife, Jinkee, is also leading by a wide margin in the vice-gubernatorial race in Sarangani. As of yesterday she has 103,438 votes under her name.
Jinkee’s closest rival, Eleanor Saguiguit, is 80,000 votes behind. Like her husband, Jinkee is on her way to a knockout win.
But Pacquiao’s younger brother, Roel, was not as lucky, losing in his bid for a congressional post in the first district of South Cotabato.
Pacquaio may be the biggest name in sports that scored a victory in the recent mid-term elections but there are others who also did.
Former Philippine Olympic Committee chairman Monico Puentevella emerged winner in the mayoral race in Bacolod City, his home province.
Last November, the president of the Philippine Weightlifting Association lost in his bid to keep the post as POC chairman against triathlon’s Tom Carrasco.
“I’m so glad and thankful for the support of my constituents. But the battle is still far from over. As we know, we can’t celebrate until all election returns have been counted,” said Puentevella,
Another sports official who lost in the last POC elections but won on a bigger stage is Integrated Cycling Federation of the Philippines chief Abraham Tolentino.
Like Puentevella, he ran in the POC elections but lost as second vice president to soft tennis chief Jeff Tamayo. But the former Tagaytay City mayor is now certain of victory as congressman in the seventh district of Cavite.
Yeng Guiao, a champion coach for Rain or Shine in the Philippine Basketball Association, will soon be proclaimed congressman in the first district of Pampanga after long serving the province as vice governor.
Franz Pumaren, another PBA coach for Air 21, is assured of a seat as councilor in the third district of Quezon City while a former PBA player now making a name for himself as a sports broadcaster, Jason Webb, will keep his post as councilor in Parañaque.
There were others who didn’t have the luck.
Pacquiao spent the last few months on the campaign trail and has kept his mind off boxing. But last week, he agreed to fight American Brandon Rios in Macau on Nov. 24.