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Latest update : 2010-11-15

Manny Pacquiao, a boxer in politics

Filipino Manny Pacquiao is one of the greatest boxers of all time. From the shanty towns of Mindanao, he has reached the summit of his discipline thanks to the power of his fists. But now he is entering another fight: politics. France 24's Cyril Payen met this extraordinary man, as much at ease in the boxing ring as in the political arena.

Filipino Emmanuel Pacquiao, alias Manny or "Pacman the Destroyer" is no doubt the most talented boxer on the planet. He is the only fighter to have won seven world titles in seven different categories. In his home country, Manny Pacquiao has superstar status. He appears in adverts, soaps and even sings…but his latest challenge is politics.

The boxer has just been elected to the Filipino parliament and plans to make the most of his immense popularity to get the inhabitants of his constituency on the island of Mindanao “out of misery”. And Pacquiao plans to go even further: he makes no secret of his ambitions for running for the presidency of the Philippines…

The spectacular progress of this young bare-footed donut seller who became one of the best-paid athletes on the planet could inspire many in the shanty towns of the Philippines to emulate him. And his upcoming fight in the United States, in Texas on Saturday November 13th, could well be his last.

For a whole week, we were given exclusive access to this sporting and political icon, an ambivalent jack of all trades who lives surrounded by his clan and a dozen bodyguards.

By Régis DESCONCLOIS , Cyril PAYEN

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