Boxing and Politics

Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao is actively fighting in two rings - and there’s no telling which one has the fiercest warriors. The only eight-division world champion in history, and the winner of a dozen world titles, he is now out for another title - that of the President of the Philippines. A few weeks ago, Pacquiao officially declared his presidential bid. This means that he will be as much on the front page of newspapers as he was on top of the betting odds from Vwin.

Emmanuel Dapidran “Manny” Pacquiao Sr. entered the fierce political ring in 2007 with the announcement of his run for a seat in the House of Representatives in his country. Since then, he has seen his share of ups and downs, winning a seat in the Senate and serving as a senator since 2016. A former supporter of President Duerte, Pacquiao announced his presidential bid by saying “I am a fighter, and I will always be a fighter - inside and outside the ring.” Let’s hope that his campaign will leave him enough time and energy to train and fight with his fists, too, not just his words.

Pacquiao is not the first - and certainly not the last - professional boxer with a political career. He was preceded by a heavyweight champion and he may be succeeded by a light-welterweight fighter in the political ring.

Vitali Klitschko

Vitali Klitschko is a veritable giant standing 6 feet 7 (201 cm) with long arms that certainly helped him dominate the ring while he was still active. With a formidable 87% knockout percentage, he - along with his brother Wladimir - dominated the world heavyweight boxing for almost a decade, between 2006 and 2015.

But 2006 was also the year when Klitschko tried his luck outside of the ropes - he ran for mayor in Kyiv. He lost the election with a respectable result (26% of the votes) which encouraged him to keep fighting. It took him almost a decade (during which he played an increasingly important role in Ukrainian politics) but he ultimately won this “title”, too - he became mayor of Kyiv, a position he holds to this day.

José Ramírez

For now, José Ramírez is only famous for the punches he throws in the ring. He won 26 of his 27 fights (17 of them by KO) and he is among the best light welterweight fighters in the world today.

Speaking to Insider last summer, he gave the world a glimpse into his “activist mentality” that made many draw parallels between him and Muhammad Ali. Ramírez is passionate about immigration reform in the US and water rights in California and has pointed out that his biggest motivation is to “do best for the people”.

Don’t expect Ramírez to dive head-first into politics - at least not yet. But once he does, you can expect him to be as passionate about his goals as he was in the ring.

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