Pacquiao: Boxing vs. Congress

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As he prepares to face Juan Manuel Marquez for the third time in his career Nov. 12, Manny Pacquiao will be sharing some thoughts with us weekly.

In our second installment, Pacquiao discusses the differences between fighting in the ring and fighting for his constituents in the Filipino Congress.

How different is it to get into the ring than getting into congress? How important is it to perform for your countrymen that always lend their unwavering support?

Manny Pacquiao: Though boxing has always been my passion, I consider public service to be my calling. For both, I have a great responsibility to my people.

I have been very fortunate in achieving a certain amount of fame through my achievements inside the ring. As a boxer and a world champion, I have been allowed to raise the international awareness of my country. But more importantly, it has given me a large platform to bring attention to the needs of so many in my country; to give a voice to those who are not strong enough to speak for themselves.

There is a big difference in being a professional fighter and being a congressman. As a boxer, I have more individual control when it comes to achieving my goals. I train hard, I do my homework and I fight to the best of my abilities with only one obstacle in my way — my opponent.

As a Congressman, the pace is slower and more measured because of the nature of government. That is by design to provoke thought and debate so that, hopefully, the best solution to the problems of the nation and the provinces we represent are met in the best possible way. It takes patience and it takes cooperation. Compromise is the bridge that leads to solutions many times. It forces us to consider the pros and cons of the issues, and though it can be frustrating at times, I understand the rationale behind the process. The immediacy and action of boxing is a stark contrast to the rules of procedure and the deliberate pace of government.

As a boxer I carry the pride and love of the Filipino people on my shoulders. It inspires me to train harder and motivates me to win. I am their representative to millions of people around the world who watch me in the ring. I am humbled by their support.

As a public servant the responsibility to "perform" is even greater because for many, lives and livelihoods are at stake. Where can I do the greatest good? Every day I am faced with these decisions. It is an awesome responsibility. I was chosen by my people to be their voice. To help them. To improve their lives. It isn't something an eight-week training camp can cure. It is a lifetime quest that I have only just begun.

It's wonderful to be a world champion boxer, but it's an individual achievement that can't last forever. Public servant is the title that defines me. Public service is where I feel I can do the most good for so many.

Episode 2 of the reality series "24/7 Pacquiao/Marquez" premieres Saturday at 10 p.m. on HBO. Marquez and Pacquiao face off Nov. 12 on HBO PPV.

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