Have Pacquiao's Out-of-the-Ring Endeavors Distracted Him Late in His Career?

Steve SilvermanFeatured ColumnistSeptember 8, 2012

LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 09:  (L-R) Manny Pacquiao lands a left to the head of Timothy Bradley during their WBO welterweight title fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena on June 9, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
Jeff Bottari/Getty Images

Manny Pacquiao (54-4-2) has been in the public eye since he began dazzling boxing fans with his quickness, aggressiveness and punching ability since he turned professional in 1995.

His name and popularity have only grown with each title that he's gained and each fight card that he's headlined.

Right now, there are two big names in boxing who are superior to the rest. They are Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Pacquiao.

There is no fight that fans want to see more than a Mayweather—Pacquiao battle. However, it has never happened, and it may never come about.

The reasons are myriad and mysterious. But, neither fighter has let much grass grow under their feet even if the big fight has not been scheduled.

In addition to fighting regularly, Pacquiao has many interests outside the boxing ring. He has recorded music, he has started acting and he has gotten involved in politics.

Of those three, his political ambitions in his native Philippines may eventually overtake his boxing career. He represents the Sarangani district, and his recent political speeches have included references to his accomplishments as a politician (Frank Warren of BoxingScene).

Pacquiao is planning to run for office again, and his name gives him a big advantage in local political contests. However, it does not seem likely that Pacquiao will merely be satisfied with a seat in the Congress in the Philippines.

He may have an interest in eventually becoming the President of his nation, perhaps within the next 10 years.

It appears as though the outside interests have had an impact on his performance in the ring. While Pacquiao is the only man ever to hold world titles in eight weight classes, he has not been as sharp in the ring in recent bouts.

Since stopping Miguel Cotto in 2009, he has not had a single knockout or TKO. He won three unanimous decisions before coming away with a majority decision over Juan Manuel Marquez. He also lost a decision to Timothy Bradley in June that was later reversed by a WBO panel. Even with that reversal, Pacquiao has not been displaying the punching power that he had earlier in his career.

In addition to his interest in politics, Pacquiao fancies himself as something of a singer. His version of "Sometimes When We Touch" became a YouTube curiosity after he sang the song on the Jimmy Kimmel Show.

Whether Pacquiao can make it in acting or singing is questionable, but he does appear to have a legitimate future in politics in his homeland.

Boxing requires a full commitment. At the age of 33, it may be hard for Pacquiao to ever match what he has done in the past since his attentions seem to be divided.

Until he can put together an explosive and dominating win over an upper-echelon opponent, it's fair to say that Pacquiao's outside-the-ring activities, along with the aging process, have distracted him from giving his full attention to being the best he can be in the ring.