Boxing great Manny Pacquiao was proclaimed Thursday as a winner of a Philippine Senate seat, bringing him closer to a possible crack at the presidency.
At the proclamation ceremony, an elections commissioner introduced Pacquiao as the “people’s champion” and called out his name in the same slow style that he is introduced in the boxing ring, drawing cheers from the audience.
The Filipino slugger garnered more than 16 million votes, landing seventh among 12 new members of the Senate, a traditional springboard to the presidency. Earlier this year, Pacquiao said he planned to retire from boxing to become a full-time politician.
Asked if his next target is the presidency, Pacquiao smiled then said, “Nothing, nothing, nothing,” as he moved into his black Cadillac SUV after his proclamation.