Manny Pacquiao gets knocked out of Philippine presidential race

Manny Pacquiao has suffered his second straight loss.

Boxing's only eight-division world champion has fallen short in his bid to become the next president of the Philippines.

Pacquiao placed a distant third in the presidential race, prompting the current Senator to concede late Tuesday evening. The 43-year-old received 3,629,547 votes (6.86%) far behind likely winner Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr., the son of former president and dictator, Ferdinand Sr.

“The people have spoken,” Pacquiao declared in his two-minute concession speech addressing his constituents. “The election is over so let’s give unity a chance for the peace and development of our country. My decision to run was driven by my utmost desire to serve the country and uplift the lives of the poor Filipinos.

“From my years as a boxer, I know how to accept defeat. I hope that even though I lost this fight, my fellow Filipinos, especially the poor, can still win. Do not lose hope because our Lord will never forsake us.”

Pacquiao previously served two terms as a congressman before winning a spot in the Philippine Senate in 2016. His current term ends June 30, but given that less than 10 percent of Filipino voters supported his bid for the presidency, it's possible that Pacquiao (62-8-2, 39 KOs) has seen the curtain drop on both his boxing and political career.

The surefire Hall of Famer has not fought since a 12-round, unanimous decision loss to Yordenis Ugas (27-5, 12 KOs) in their WBA "Super" welterweight title fight last August 21 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Pacquiao was originally slated to face unbeaten unified titlist Errol Spence Jr. (28-0, 22 KOs), who was forced to withdraw due to a retinal tear discovered less than two weeks before the fight.

Spence went on to score a 10th-round TKO in their three-belt unification this past April 16 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Social media was abuzz in recent days with the possibility that Pacquiao could return to the ring given his poor showing in the presidential race. But the legendary southpaw said family comes first.

“To my family, especially my wife Jinkee who was with me through the whole campaign—thank you for the support, the understanding and the love,” Pacquiao stated. “I love you all very much. To our next president Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr., I pray for the success of your administration with the many difficulties ahead and the lives that are affected.

“I will take this opportunity to rest and spend more time with my family. I will definitely continue our mission to help the people through the Manny Pacquiao foundation. I will never turn my back on serving our nation and for those in need. Let’s continue to love the Philippines. Let’s unite to uplift one another. Thank you very much to my fellow Filipinos for this opportunity. You are all very much loved by Manny Pacquiao.”

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