• Manny Pacquiao denies that he is planning to take a leave from Senate to prepare for a boxing match
  • The newbie senator said his legislative work is his priority
  • Top Rank Promotions head Bob Arum previously said Pacquiao is working on taking a leave to prepare for a fight

Boxing legend and new Philippine senator Manny Pacquiao denied reports that he will be taking a leave from the Senate for an upcoming match.

“There is no truth to media reports that I’m planning to take a leave from my Senate duties just to fight again atop the ring. I want to make it clear–my priority is my legislative works,” Inquirer quoted Pacquiao’s statement posted on his Facebook page.

The retired boxer said he “owes it to the people” to fulfill his legislative duties since he promised during the campaign that he will be present in all Senate sessions if he wins. Pacquiao has been criticized for being the top absentee when he was still a lawmaker at the House of Representatives.

Pacquiao said there is no fight that has been set yet despite Tuesday’s statement of Top Rank promoter Bob Arum that the boxer is mulling on taking a leave.

“He is going to fight. I don’t know what the date is. He is working with the President of the Philippines senate for an appropriate date where he can leave the Philippines for two or three weeks to prepare for the fight,” Arum said.

“In any event he is going to have to do most of his preparation in the Philippines – you know after he sits in the senate – so it is going to be an interesting thing but definitely he is looking to come back and the question is how can we arrange it,” he added.

But Pacquiao clarified: “If ever I decide to fight again, rest assured it will happen when Congress is on recess so there’s no need for me to go on leave.”

He stressed that boxing was just a way for him to tend for his family and that politics is his “vocation, not a means to eke out a living.”