MANILA - Jabbed by possible disqualification in the May senatorial race, and swarmed by global outrage at his LGBT comments, boxing icon Manny Pacquiao still appears unperturbed.
"I'm not bothered, that's the world. I mean, Jesus lives in me so I'm always happy," Pacquiao told reporters after a training session in General Santos City Saturday.
"Sabi nga ng Bible, everyday has enough troubles of its own, so don't be bothered about that," Pacquiao said.
Senatorial hopeful Walden Bello earlier said that Pacquiao may face disqualification if he pushes through with the megabout with Timothy Bradley in April.
Bello argued that Pacquiao will exceed the allowed airtime for candidates during the bout and will also earn him free media mileage.
Pacquiao said he is willing to postone the match if the Commission on Elections (Comelec) will order him to.
But the boxing great noted that this is not the first time that he will be fighting in the ring during election period.
"Kung iyan ay against the law, sa rules, bakit hindi. Pero hindi naman ito ang unang laban ko na tumakbo ako sa eleksyon, mga nakalipas na eleksyon lumaban din ako. Wala naman," Pacquiao said.
Pacquiao fought Jorge Solís in April 2007, a month before he ran and lost as South Cotabato representative.
In March 2010, Pacquiao defeated Joshua Clottey in the height of poll campaigns. He won his first term as Sarangani congressman in May of the same year.
Comelec chairman Andres Bautista has said that they still need to study the issue. He also asked Bello to file a formal complaint if he wants the poll body to address Pacquiao's case.
READ: Pacquiao can't be DQ'd over megabout - law expert
Pacquiao earlier drew flak for saying that homosexual couples are "worse than animals." Sportswear giant Nike also dropped him as an endorser, saying the boxer's comments are "abhorrent".
READ: Pacquiao respects Nike's decision, looks for new sponsor
Pacquiao's close friend, retired two-division champion Gerry Peñalosa, does not believe the controversy will affect the congressman's training.
But Peñalosa said the backlash from Pacquiao's comments may hurt the senatorial bid of the congressman.
"Maybe in his campaign for senator na takbuhan niya, baka may mga taong iba ang pagkaintindi sa sinabi niya. Baka isipin nila na-offend sila. Baka as a political move, baka hindi maganda," Peñalosa told ABS-CBN News during Pacquiao's Saturday training.
"Pero as a boxer, nakikita kong hindi makaaapekto sa kanya. Strong ang personality niya, so ano man iyung bagyo na darating o kontrobersya, nakikita kong hindi makakaapekto sa kanya."
Pacquiao has apologized for his LGBT comments, but stood firm in his religious views.
READ: Pacquiao refuses to back down on gay slurs
Peñalosa also observed that Pacquiao has reached 60 percent of his optimum condition.
He is confident Pacquiao will be 90 percent ready to face Bradley once his sparring session starts in two weeks.
Boxing trainer Freddie Roach, meanwhile, said they are aiming for a knockout in the match, and focusing on Pacquiao's power and speed.
"His speed is great but when you put speed and power together, you get a knockout," Roach said. -- With a report from Chai Tabunaway, ABS-CBN News