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Manny Pacquiao says he's probably running for Filipino Senate in 2016

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Manny Pacquiao says he's "eighty percent" sure he'll be running for Senate in the Philippines in the 2016 national election.

Alexis Cuarezma

Manny Pacquiao prefers to not talk politics during fight week, but it always comes up. This week, as he prepares for Saturday's rematch with Timothy Bradley on HBO pay-per-view, Pacquiao has said he'll most likely run for Filipino Senate in May 2016, the next national elections for the country.

Vice President Jejomar Binay, a close friend of Pacquiao's, has listed the boxer in his senatorial slate for 2016. But Pacquiao chose not to give any definite answer, saying he still had to think things over.

Asked by the foreign press here, the 35-year-old Pacquiao said he's close to formalizing his bid for a senatorial post in the next polls.

"It's eighty percent," said Pacquiao, who was asked what the age requirement was for those who want to run for senator and for president.

Pacquiao was also asked how many members there are in the Senate and Congress. He gave the right answers. But can he be a senator and still box at the same time?

Pacquiao laughed hard and paused, then said, "The work of a congressman and senator is almost the same."

To have a better chance at 2016, it would be better for him to continue winning inside the boxing ring, including Saturday's big fight against Bradley. But Pacquiao doesn't think so.

"This fight will not affect my politics. My journey will continue," he said.

Pacquiao, 35, has been devoting bigger and bigger chunks of his time to his non-boxing life, which includes both his political career and his family life, certainly understandable for someone with these aspirations and, you know, a family. Manny's not getting younger and his dedication to the sport may still be great while in training camp for fights, but I don't think there's any question that his focus is not always on boxing the way it likely was when he was younger. Elite fighters have certainly been "distracted" by worse things over the years.