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04 March 2024

Pacquiao election rival calls for Bradley fight to be halted

Boxer Manny Pacquiao (left) of the Philippines and undefeated WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley of the US face off during a news conference at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada April 9, 2014. Pacquiao will challenge Bradley at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 12. (REUTERS)

By Reuters

The Philippine election commission will decide on Tuesday whether a boxing match between Manny Pacquiao, who is standing in May's vote, and American welterweight champion Timothy Bradley violates polling rules.

On May 9, more than 54 million people in the Philippines will vote for a president, vice-president, 300 lawmakers and thousands of local government posts.

Pacquiao is running for one of 12 vacant seats in the Senate, the upper house of parliament.

Pacquiao, a former eight division world champion, said he will make his final ring appearance on April 9 in Las Vegas against Bradley, the reigning WBO welterweight champion.

Walden Bello, a former congressman, has asked the election commission to investigate whether the bout gives Pacquiao undue advantage at the polls because of high-profile advertising and publicity surrounding the boxing match.

Chairman Andres Bautista told reporters his commission would discuss Pacquiao's case on Tuesday.

A left-wing politician and a rival of Pacquiao for one of the Senate seats, Bello said he did not want the commission to disqualify the boxer and urged Pacquiao to postpone the fight.

"Postponement is an option for Manny if he wants to continue running for Senator," Bello said.

There was no immediate comment from Pacquiao. Boxing experts said it will be difficult to postpone the match because the two sides had signed a contract.

Pacquiao remains popular in the Philippines, where opinion polls rank him 8th among four dozen candidates running for Senate seats.