Manny Pacquiao from the Philippines must be one of the most prominent names in the most contemporary history of boxing. Look no further than his impressive feat of, for a time, being the first and so far only eight-division world champion of the sport. His achievements go far beyond athletics too, having forged a solid, if often absence-laden political career that saw him go from a Congressman to a national Senator, elected only last year after his win against American slugger Timothy Bradley in their third bout. He’s not strictly retired however, “coming back” to a victory over Jessie Vargas just this November.

He hasn’t stopped looking for opponents either, with the latest boxer in his crosshairs being Amir Khan, a match that has been confirmed.

Second ‘post-retirement’ fight

The “Fighting Senator” Pacquiao announced on his Twitter that a date for his fight with British (of Pakistani extraction) Olympian turned successful pro boxer Amir Khan has been set – April 23, with the tentative venue of the UAE. Khan, who won Silver at the Summer Games in Athens, also confirmed his involvement in this latest “Super Fight” with his fellow sparring partner and “student” of sorts under Coach Freddie Roach. While the boxers know each other well and are good friends, there can be no doubt that the two of them will be giving their absolute best performance when they step inside the ring on the big day.

Pacquaio earlier asked his fans on a Twitter poll dated February 13 about whom he should fight “next in the UAE”, without any further details.

Four names were listed as choices, with Amir Khan’s name listed with Aussie Jeff Horn, American Terence Crawford and another Briton, Kell Brook. Voters put Khan well ahead of the rest, gaining 48% of the poll votes. Where exactly in the UAE the fight will take place – if it will happen there at all – has not been disclosed.

Sports or politics

Despite his pronouncement of focusing on his new Senatorial duties after the Bradley fight last April 2016, Pacquiao insisted on his comeback against Vargas that he fully intends to keep boxing, explaining that while political office is for him a worthy vocation, only boxing provides him a decent livelihood for his family. No kidding; his 2015 statement of assets and liabilities – mandatory for Philippine public officials – lists his worth as $69 million. The senator-boxer is currently a staunch political ally of firebrand Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who is solidly supported by Filipinos owing to his ongoing violent anti-drug campaign, despite outcries of human rights issues from local and international quarters.