Pacquiao sworn in to Congress

28 Jun 2010

World welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao has officially added a new title — Congressman.

Pacquiao was sworn in to the Philippines’ House of Representatives on Monday in the southern province of Sarangani.

“He wants change,” Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, said of Pacquiao before the boxer won the election. “I think it’s genuine. People see that he wants to help his country, and that’s why they’re voting. That’s why they support him.”

Pacquiao accepted his third Fighter of the Year award June 4 after a year that featured a spectacular second-round knockout of Ricky Hatton to win a 140-pound belt and a brutal 12th-round stoppage of Miguel Cotto that gave Pacquiao titles in a record seven divisions.

“When he fights they close down Parliament and all the terrorists call for a peace,” Roach said in May, only half jokingly. “It’s not going to change anything. They’ll just announce him as Congressman Manny Pacquiao, that’s all.”

Promoter Bob Arum will continue work on perhaps the most highly anticipated fight in decades, between Pacquiao and the undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr. The two nearly reached an agreement to fight earlier this year, but negotiations broke down when Mayweather insisted on Olympic-style drug testing and Pacquiao refused to have blood drawn within 24 days of a fight.

But Arum said that Pacquiao is now willing to have blood tests within 14 days of the fight, the cutoff point that Mayweather had agreed to in the first go-around.

Arum also said he believes the fight, which would likely happen in November, will end up in Las Vegas rather than Cowboys Stadium or another venue that could pack upward of 100,000 fans.