Pacquiao-Clinton meeting slated

Boxer Manny Pacquiao.

BEVERLY HILLS, California - Manny Pacquiao's original plan to spend his first month of training in the Philippines will likely be derailed by a possible meeting with Democrat presidential nomination frontrunner Hillary Clinton.

Promoter Bob Arum, 84, founder and CEO of Top Rank which is staging Pacquiao's third fight against Timothy Bradley for the World Boxing Organisation welterweight crown on April 9 in Las Vegas, wants his prized ward to be back in the United States by Feb. 18 to meet Clinton during the Nevada caucus on Feb. 20.

Whether or not Pacquiao supports Clinton's bid after that meeting is still unclear.

"That's up to him, but she's my candidate," Arum told Filipino sportswriters covering the promotional tour of Pacquiao-Bradley III that kicked off at the Crystal Ballroom of Beverly Hills Hotel Tuesday afternoon. "I like her."

"These guys (boxers), however, are independent so it's really up to Manny," added Arum, who took a swipe at Republican presidential aspirant Donald Trump during the press conference.

Tagging the first few bouts as "Donald Trump undercard," Arum said he'll be offering an all-Hispanic card to show his displeasure with the billionaire's calls to put up a wall in the US-Mexico border and deport illegal immigrants.

"I want them to know there are a lot of people that have their backs and are not going to allow them to be deported," Arum said. "And if Trump got elected, I would be in the streets with them protesting."

Pacquiao is no stranger to lending a helping hand in a US campaign. He once endorsed the candidacy of US Minority leader Sen. Harry Reid, who was eternally grateful.

According to Arum, Pacquiao can support any candidate in the US because there's no prohibition in its constitution.

Unlike in the Philippines, where Arum was unable to campaign for Pacquiao in 2007 and 2010.