Manny Pacquiao latest news: Criticisms from celebrities do not bother Filipino, who maintains focus on training for Bradley fight

By @hoopsdontstop30 on
Pacquiao
Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao, who is running for Senator in the May 2016 national elections, speaks to supporters during the start of elections campaigning in Mandaluyong city, Metro Manila February 9, 2016. Reuters/Janis Alano

Celebrity figures have joined the chorus of people criticising Manny Pacquiao for his recent anti-gay remarks, but the Filipino boxing icon is not fretting over the critics as he gears up for his fight against Timothy Bradley on Apr. 9 in Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Arena.

Former WWE star Dave Bautista and Los Angeles Lakers great Magic Johnson have hit back at Pacquiao’s anti-gay slur, which called members of the LGBT community “worse than animals” while discussing the same-sex marriage issue. Johnson has promised to boycott any of Pacquiao’s fights, while Bautista called the Filipino a “f------- idiot.” But Pacquiao says he is not distracted by any of those comments and has his full attention on his final fight.

“I'm not bothered, that's the world," Pacquiao told Boxing Scene. "I mean, Jesus lives in me so I'm always happy. Says the Bible, every day has enough troubles of its own, so don't be bothered about that."  

Pacquiao, who is conducting his training sessions in his hometown General Santos City, cannot afford to take on any more distractions ahead of his retirement fight against Bradley. Apart from his controversial homophobic rhetoric, the former eight-division titlist also faces a possible disqualification from seeking a senatorial seat in his country.

Walden Bello, a Filipino politician who is also campaigning for a senatorial position, claimed that Pacquiao’s April bout against Bradley should be postponed and moved to after May 9 as the PPV bout would give Pacquiao “tremendous advantage” over other candidates due to massive “media attention.”

“This globally and nationally televised fight a month before the elections would mean hours and hours of coverage before, during, and after the fight,” Bello said in a statement, reports Rappler. “This media attention, supplemented by national pay-per-view television coverage during the fight, would be massive free advertising.”

But with both fighters all set for the bout, it is unlikely to be delayed, which means Pacquiao could just hope Bello’s disqualification case gets does not get the authorities’ full attention.