Manny Pacquiao is running to become the next President of the Philippines.
The 42-year-old boxer, who is one of the most celebrated athletes of all time, has accepted the nomination of the PDP-Laban faction ahead of the elections in May 2022.
Pacquiao wrote on Twitter: “I boldly accept the challenge of running as PRESIDENT of the Philippines. We need progress. We need to win against poverty. We need government to serve our people with integrity, compassion and transparency. The time is now. I am ready to rise to the challenge of leadership. (Filipino flag emoji) (sic)”
Pacquiao currently serves as a Senator in the Philippines and he’s been an outspoken critic of President Rodrigo Duterte.
He said: “Your time is up! We gave you a chance, but you failed us. We waited for a long time, decades have passed, but nothing happened.”
Pacquiao also suggested that his boxing background will stand him in good stead in the Presidential race.
The sporting icon, who has won world titles in an unprecedented eight different weight divisions, explained: “I am a fighter, and I will always be a fighter inside and outside the ring.”
Pacquiao lost his most-recent fight against Cuba’s Yordenis Ugas, and he subsequently suggested he was ready to walk away from the sport.
Pacquiao, who has beaten the likes of Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton during his career, said in an Instagram post: “I have come to this point in my career by the grace of God. It is He who gave me the strength to fight. I can look back and honestly say that I gave my best.
“My family and you, the fans, have been with me all the way. I will not focus on the defeat, but instead count my blessings (praying emoji). God bless everyone! (sic)”