Boxing isn't the only thing on Manny Pacquiao's plate these days. Apart from using his popularity to be elected as congressman of the Sarangani province, he has also since been appointed as a head coach of an expansion team in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), while at the same time, declaring himself eligible to be drafted in the league where he's hoping to be a playing-coach. It's obviously a complicated situation for the 5-foot-6 athlete, as other teams can still draft him even if he has already been appointed as the coach for Kia.
That's not all, apart balancing countless other business deals and personal side projects like acting and singing, Pacquiao has now also decided to dip his toes in Mixed Martial Arts.
As Victor Cui told Kevin Iole, Pacquiao has 'purchased an undisclosed' number of shares' in the Singapore-based MMA promotion in ONE Fighting Championship.
"I'm pretty pumped," Cui said. "There are a ton of reasons why I'm pretty excited about this. Obviously, Manny Pacquiao is a global sports icon and having him as a part of our organization as a shareholder and promoting One FC and promoting the sport is huge for the sport in the region. It promotes awareness and growth."
Bloody Elbow has reached out to Cui to try and shed more light on this undisclosed figure and it's potential impact, and while he didn't go into specifics, the ONE FC CEO says Manny now has a minor stake in their company.
"Manny has a small stake as a shareholder," he tells us, "For all of our shareholders their individual investments are kept confidential."
While Pacquiao won't have a significant chunk of shares, as Cui stated, this move could be great for helping ONE FC with promotion and awareness. His popularity may not be the same from his peak just a few years ago, but Pacquiao is still a massive icon in sports, and his brand alone could be more important to ONE FC than whatever amount he may be investing, as this could conceivably help them secure more sponsorships and deals within the region.
Apart from getting Pacquiao on board, ONE FC has also made recent moves to try and build on that Philippine market by signing Filipino-American draws such as female boxing champ Ana Julaton (13-4-1 boxing, 1-0 MMA), and former UFC contender Brandon Vera (12-7).
Pacquiao is set to face Chris Algieri on November 22, but the 35-year-old has also made more headlines recently, stating that he plans to run for Senate once he retires from boxing in 2016. According to Cui, if Pacquiao's busy schedule permits, he would have a press conference to help promote their next Manila card on December 5.