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Pacquiao returns to the political ring

Manny Pacquiao holds his registration certificate after filing in the town of Alabel in Saragani province.
Manny Pacquiao holds his registration certificate after filing in the town of Alabel in Saragani province.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • World champion boxer Manny Pacquiao will return to politics next year
  • The 30-year-old has registered to stand for Congress in his native Philippines
  • He suffered an embarrassing defeat in his previous attempt to win election in 2007
  • The campaign may affect any future fight with the undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr.
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(CNN) -- World champion boxer Manny Pacquiao will make a second stab at the political arena next year, having registered to stand for Congress in his native Philippines.

The newly-crowned World Boxing Organization welterweight belt-holder signed up as a candidate for his People's Champ Movement party on the southern island of Mindanao on Tuesday.

The 30-year-old, known as "Pacman," is hoping to avoid a repeat of his defeat in the 2007 elections, according to the Web site of British newspaper The Guardian.

"I am ready, there's no more turning back," it said he told a group of cheering supporters at the election office of the town of Alabel.

"The reason I am running for congress is that my town needs somebody who can bring in more economic opportunities for my people.

"Because I am fortunate enough to be famous, perhaps as a congressman I can attract bigger businesses to our area and provide more revenues."

Pacquiao last month became just the fifth boxer to win world titles at five different weight levels when he defeated Miguel Cotto in Las Vegas, and he has also won non-universally-recognized belts in two other categories.

But he faces a tough task to establish himself in politics following his comprehensive failure to win election in South Cotabato in 2007, when his campaign was marred by controversy over his high public exposure due to his fights at the time.

I am ready, there's no more turning back
--Manny Pacquiao

This time he is likely to be standing in Sarangani province against Roy Chiongbian, a wealthy shipping executive whose family have dominated the region's politics in the past decade.

The elections are due to be held in May, which could mean that his much-anticipated showdown with the undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr. may have to be brought forward, or delayed.

"If he has to run against an opponent, then he'll have to start campaigning for the May 10 election on March 25," Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum told the Los Angeles Times.

"If that's the case, then Mayweather would have to be willing to fight March 13."

However, both camps would prefer the fight to take place in early May.

"Obviously, we could use the extra month and a half to get ready for something like that," Arum said.

Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach has suggested that he fight a lesser name such as Israeli Yuri Foreman in March and take on Mayweather in September, the UK Press Association reported on Monday.