Manny Pacquiao throws hat into MMA ring

Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao has reportedly decided to throw his hat into the mixed martial arts (MMA) ring. No, he will not step into the cage as a fighter but as an investor.

Manny Pacquiao
Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports reported that the pound-for-pound boxer purchased shares in One Fighting Championship, an emerging regional MMA promotion.

One FC chief executive officer Victor Cui made the confirmation, according to Iole.

"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."

The report said buying One FC ownership shares is part of his plans to look for more business opportunities before he retires in boxing.

"There are a lot of common fans and common ties with MMA and boxing [in the Philippines] and MMA awareness is much stronger than it is in other parts of Asia," Cui added. "Manny has been looking for some opportunities outside of boxing, and he and his team have kept an eye on the sport of MMA. It made a lot of sense to him."

Aside from boxing, Pacquiao is also into basketball. He is set to join the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) draft later this month in order to become playing-coach of expansion club Kia Motors.

He is also scheduled to return to the boxing ring on November 22 for a match with unbeaten American fighter Chris Algieri in Macau.

In a recent TV interview, Manny Pacquiao said he still wants to fight five more times before he finally hangs his gloves. The fighting congressman also announced his plan to run for senator in 2016.