Manny Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao on the ropes in Philippines as a Marcos dances back towards power

He was beloved as a boxer but the world champion is being pummelled in his campaign for president

here was adoration in the air when the boxing superstar running for the presidency of the Philippines met his public on a campaign walkabout at a Manila shopping centre last week.

Beneath giant red paper hearts and balloons still hanging from Valentine’s Day, excited shoppers mobbed Manny Pacquiao, jostling for photographs during an unannounced coffee stop. But posing for selfies is not translating into votes for the nation’s greatest sporting hero, a born-again Christian who has said he is running for the top job on a mission from God.

As the May 9 ballot approaches, the 12-time world champion, senator, entrepreneur and evangelical preacher is on the ropes in his fight for the presidency. An unscientific sampling of the buzzing crowd found not a single

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