Manny Pacquiao has had hard luck in the ring of late, but his defeats aren’t carrying over to his political career.
The boxer’s handpicked candidate has become becoming the new mayor of General Santos City in the Philippines. Ronnel Rivera was declared the winner of the mayoral race against incumbent Darlene Antonino-Custodio on Tuesday.
With just under 84 percent of the election returns processed on Tuesday afternoon, Rivera led by more than 11,000 votes. He pulled away, garnering 93, 525 votes. The result ended a reign of the Custodio family in General Santos City for over two decades.
The victory was sweet for Pacquiao, who lost to Custodio in 2007 in the first district congressional race. The former welterweight champion won his congressional seat in Sarangani after running unopposed. It will be his second three-year term in the district.
Over the weekend, Pacquiao was involved in some controversy, regarding the mayoral race. The Manila Times reported that Pac-Man was in trouble for alleged "vote buying and serious physical injuries." He was accused of attacking the barangay chairman of San Jose, Alfredo Belgica, when he was told to stop giving out rice and money in exchange for votes. Pacquiao has denied the claims.
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"That is not true. In fact, they [Belgica's camp] were the ones who mauled our supporters, fired shots at them, destroyed the vehicles," Pacquiao’s lawyer told The Manila Times. "Pacquiao learned about what happened over the radio, and he went to the scene to pacify the people."
Pacquiao’s next fight will come on November 23 in Macau against Brandon Rios. It will be his first bout in almost a year, following his defeat to Juan Manuel Marquez.