Manny Pacquiao’s next opponent Timothy Bradley encouraged Filipinos to vote for the pound-for-pound boxer in the coming election. The American professional boxer insisted that they should not base their votes on whether Pacquiao will win or lose in the highly anticipated fight. Promoter Bob Arum, meanwhile, also claimed that Manny’s recent remarks about the gay community may actually help him win a senate seat.
According to Yahoo! Sports, Bradley and Pacquiao acted like “friends at a business meeting” at the recent Manny Pacquiao vs Timothy Bradley conference. During Bradley’s speech, in which he thanked his wife Monica and his trainer Teddy Atlas, he also took the opportunity to campaign for Pacquiao.
Timothy Bradley shared that he read an article saying that in order for Manny Pacquiao to up his chances in winning for senator, he must win what is believed to be his last fight prior to retirement. Bradley pointed out that regardless of the result of the fight, Pacquiao has proven time and again that he is the right man for the job.
“I think that is baloney. I think that is garbage. I don’t think the fight has anything to do with what this man has shown for the Filipino people, where he’s from… He is truly, truly to me the only one out there who is going to do right by the Filipino people…. He’s shown over and over that he is for the people and by the people and that he’s a man of his word. He’s always shown that character and that integrity and I think he’s the right man for the job.”
Bradley then reportedly turned and spoke directly to Pacquiao and wished him well in his campaign.
“I wish nothing but the best for you, man. I hope you truly, truly win. I really do,” he said.
Manny Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum admitted that he was blown away by the things Timothy Bradley said. He shared that in his 50 years in the boxing industry, he has never seen anyone use his time to campaign for his opponent.
“It was unbelievable and shows what a class act Timothy Bradley really is,” Arum said.
In February, Manny Pacquiao drew flak from netizens after he described gay people as “worse than animals” in an interview with a Filipino television station. While he was quick to apologize for the homophobic comment, the boxer insisted that he will stand by his beliefs.
“I’m sorry for hurting people by comparing homosexuals to animals. Please forgive me for those I’ve hurt. I still stand on my belief that I’m against same sex marriage because of what the Bible says, but I’m not condemning LGBT,” he wrote on Instagram.
Many believed that Pacquiao’s derogatory comment may have caused him the Senate seat. The boxer also lost an endorsement deal with Nike after the brand was forced to drop him. In a statement, Nike said that they found Pacquiao’s comments “abhorrent,” adding that the brand strongly opposes discrimination of any kind.
While definitely unhappy with Manny Pacquiao’s statement, promoter Bob Arum still believed that the boxer would eventually win in the coming elections. In an interview with ESPN, Arum explained that the boxer did not have any malicious intent, instead he was just speaking based on his religious beliefs.
The promoter also claimed that most of the Filipinos were behind Pacquiao in his statement. He pointed out that his remarks may eventually help him win a seat in the Senate.
“The analogy [Pacquiao] made was stupid, but 90 percent of the people in the Philippines support him. He’s appealing to the population whose votes he wants in the nationwide senate election. It’s an appealing position and he believes it.”
[Image via Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images]