SO Manny Pacquiao did rout Ghana’s Joshua Clottey in their bout last Sunday at the Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, Texas?

Pacquiao shut out the big and durable Clottey, according to the scorecard of one judge while the two others only gave the Ghana fighter the third round.

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Impressive, even if Pacquiao failed to knock Clottey down.

So what’s next for the Pacman?

A fight with the undefeated and brash Floyd Mayweather Jr.?

Not yet.

“I am going to take a one-week rest and go back to the Philippines and start campaigning for my political career,” Pacquiao said in a post-fight interview.

The venue: Sarangani province.

The stake: a seat in the House of Representatives.

The opponent: Roy Chiongbian of the powerful Chiongbian clan.

Now, that’s one fight that would make a bout with Mayweather easier to win.

Entrenched foe

Of course, politics is not as simple as boxing, that’s why Pacquiao got lost in the political maze when he battled Darlene Antonino-Custodio for the House seat in his home district of General Santos City and South Cotabato in 2007.

In this election, he may soon realize, too, that winning in a political bout is not a matter of a simple transfer of venue.

Pacquiao is not originally from Sarangani; his wife Jinkee is.

If hometown advantage is one of the keys of winning, then that factor goes to Roy Chiongbian, whose father James authored the law that created Sarangani province out of the former third district of South Cotabato in 1992.

Roy’s residency was also questioned by Pacquiao’s People’s Champ Movement, but the complaint was dismissed by the Comelec; obviously the Chiongbians’ hold of Sarangani is stronger than that of Team Pacquiao.

Has Pacquiao’s popularity seeped deep enough into a largely rural enclave, and will his money be enough of a factor to ease out an entrenched political clan?

Difficult fight

Unlike Clottey, who was content in his peek-a-boo defense without mounting enough offensive in his bout against his Filipino foe, Pacquiao will surely give the Choingbians a good fight.

But winning is another thing.

There have only been few instances in recent politics that an outsider successfully seized political power from an entrenched political clan in a rural setting like Sarangani.

So don’t call Pacquiao Congressman Pacman just yet.