Manny Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao. Pic: AP.

With the exception of promoter Bob Arum, Team Pacquiao – including Rep. Manny Pacquiao – is doggedly pursuing an early return to the ring for the Filipino boxing icon.

If Pacquiao cannot find a place to fight in April, he may as well wait for an August or a September ring comeback.

A combination of bad luck and setbacks in 2012 has limited Pacquiao’s fight and political options this year.

First, he has to deal with the mandatory suspension imposed on him by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, which prevents him from staging an April fight in Las Vegas, the new home of blockbuster fights.  Once that option is gone, he can’t fight sooner than four months after April.  He has the Philippine mid-term elections to attend to in May where he is running for re-election.  Although unopposed in the race for the lone congressional seat, he will have to oversee the candidacy of wife Jinkee who is running for vice governor in Sarangani.

He also needs to backstop his brother’s bid to join him in the House of Representatives.  Rogelio ‘Roel’ Pacquiao is challenging Rep. Pedro Acharon Jr in the 1st District of South Cotabato-General Santos City.  While bankrolling the candidacies of Jinkee and Roel may not be as pocket-emptying as his own stabs at politics in 2007 and 2010, Pacquiao’s pride will dictate that he will at least match the resources of the political machinery of the Antoninos – against whom his brother is fighting the proxy war for him.

After the devastating knockout defeat to Juan Manuel Marquez in December, he can’t pick another opponent without taking a big pay cut.  Pacquiao knows the lucrative fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr is now gone with the wind.  But he also needs to make that long climb back to the top if he wants to keep his war chest flowing for future political plans.  He now needs to fight as frequently as he can to maintain his liquidity as the downside of his luckless 2012 meant he no longer has the leverage to easily dictate the financial terms of his future fights.

Pacquiao has made boxing and politics a merry mix, so much so that one has become indispensable for the other.  This is the other pitfall of his multi-tasking nature.  They are like a house of cards.

For as long as Pacquiao continues to fulfill his political ambitions, he will also continue to literally and figuratively bleed.

There is no arguing that Pacquiao should take advantage of the fleeting opportunity that boxing is giving him.  But he should also ask if he has spread himself too thinly.

But there should be a silver lining to his loss to Marquez and the prospect of him not able to fight in the first half of this year.

These setbacks give him the opportunity to reflect and see where his 18-year boxing career and budding political life are headed to.

In so doing, he will also have to ponder where all his winnings and earnings have gone to.

Wife Jinkee reportedly is getting through a hard reality check.  Many of their businesses are reportedly not only not earning money, they are also bleeding them dry.  Some of their business establishments are said to be two-year delinquent in city taxes and permits – a bad case when you are running against people in city hall.

Somehow the bleeding has to stop.

And stopping the bleeding starts with Pacquiao himself.