Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao's recent loss to Cuba's Yordenis Ugas could be his last fight on the ring should he decide to run for president, a longtime ally said Thursday.
Media reports in the U.S. said a Pacquiao-Ugas rematch could be in the cards as early as January 2022 or four months before the Philippine national elections. Pacquiao has until October this year to decide whether to run for president.
Bacolod Mayor Monico Puentevella, who also regularly speaks on behalf of Pacquiao, said nobody could stop the senator from returning boxing ring because he "never quits" and loves to entertain the people.
"The only thing I know is if he runs for president, maybe you have just seen his last fight. In case he decides not to run in one month, then he will fight again," he told CNN Philippines in an interview on Thursday.
Pacquiao lost to Ugas in Las Vegas over the weekend via unanimous decision in their 12-round bout. The Cuban was a last-minute replacement for the Filipino boxer's original opponent Errol Spence Jr.
Puentevella said after they undergo quarantine upon arriving back in the Philippines, Pacquiao would consult political leaders around the country to help him decide about running for president.
He even went on to say that if Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio is the administration's "anointed one," then Pacquiao would go for the presidency.
Duterte-Carpio topped the list of preferred presidential candidates in the 2022 elections, according to the June 2021 Pulse Asia survey. But like Pacquiao, she has yet to firm up her decision to vie for the position except to say that she's open for it.
Pacquiao earlier told supporters of the Davao City mayor to give others who want to run for president a chance.