(2ND UPDATE) Boxing promoter Bob Arum is predicting that Filipino ring icon Manny Pacquiao can be the next president of the Philippines -- and thus be the first fighter to reach a country's highest office.
The Top Rank chief executive appeared in an undated video where he said Pacquiao has already told him of his political plans.
"The first president I think we'll get, as a fighter, is Manny Pacquiao," Arum predicted.
"(He) told me, once again, I did a Zoom telephone call with him, 'Bob, I'm gonna run in 2022, and when I win, I want you there at my inauguration," said Arum.
Pacquiao currently serves as a senator, having been elected in 2016. He previously served as the representative of the lone district of Sarangani.
In 2022, the 41-year-old Pacquiao will be eligible to run for a second senate term, as well as for the vice-presidency and presidency.
Pacquiao has not responded to ABS-CBN News' request to comment on Arum's statement, as of posting time.
The promoter has been predicting that Pacquiao will run for president as far back as 2015. The "Pacman" remains an active fighter, most recently outpointing Keith Thurman in July 2019 to claim the WBA "super" welterweight championship.
(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website).