Manny Pacquiao may have reclaimed his WBO Welterweight belt after pummeling Timothy Bradley to a 12-round unanimous decision win Saturday night in Las Vegas, but he never ceased to seek more glory outside the squared circle.
With another sensational win in the ring, Pacquiao will shift his focus to the hardcourt, as rumors indicated that the Filipino slugger is all set to join a team in the Philippine Basketball Association - Asia's first pay-for-play pro league.
Vince Golangco of WheninManila.com reported that the Pacman will suit up for Kia Motors, which is one of the three expansion teams approved to join the PBA next season.
"Pacquiao announced recently that he will also be suiting up as a basketball player or the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) as a new member of the recently added Kia Motors basketball team.
It was just announced that Kia Motors, Blackwater and NLEX teams would be joining the PBA as the newest franchises for this recent three team expansion of the Philippine Basketball Association," according to the report.
Pacquiao is a passionate basketball fan to the extent that he included playing hoops to his workouts ahead of big fights. In fact, the Pacman played several sets of games against members of his training camp. Buboy Fernandez, the childhood friend and trainer of Pacquiao, said they aimed to improve the Pacman's footwork by allowing him to play hoops.
"Playing basketball has a big impact in boxing, especially in his footwork. Fernandez said in an interview with ABS-CBN News. "Unlike punishing roadworks, Pacquiao only needs to make short sprints in basketball, but it targeted his foot coordination.
Pacquiao is open to take his rivalry with Floyd Mayweather Jr. from the ring to the nearest hoops playground, if he really doesn't want to take him in a boxing match.
"Basketball, I can play with him basketball," Pacquiao said in a one-on-one interview on SportsDash on Friday." If he doesn't want to fight in the ring, we'll play basketball."
The 35-year old Pacquiao is certainly living his life to the fullest. His success in the boxing ring has become his launching pad to conquer other fields such as politics and entertainment. Now, Pacman is setting his sights on another sport, the one dominated by giants.
But who knows? Maybe Pacquiao has the talent to go all the way to top-flight basketball.