MANILA (Reuters) - The Philippine elections commission ruled on Tuesday it would not stop a WBO welterweight fight between Philippine boxing hero Manny Pacquiao and U.S. champion Timothy Bradley next month because there was no formal complaint to block it.
Pacquiao, the former eight-division world champion, is a two-term congressman and a candidate for the Senate in elections on May 9.
A former congressman has asked the Commission on Elections to look into his April 9 bout, which has been billed as his last fight, because it would give him undue advantage in the polls.
“We are not in a position right now to stop it,” the head of the commission, Andres Bautista, told a news conference.
“That is not really within our control. There has been no formal complaint that was filed in accordance with our rules.”
The bout will be Pacquiao’s first since he lost a unanimous decision to unbeaten American Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the so-called “Fight of the Century” in Las Vegas last May.
In February, Pacquiao, 37, lost a sponsorship deal with Nike Inc, as the world’s largest sportswear-maker canceled its contract with him after he described gays as “worse than animals”.
More than 54 million people in the Philippines will vote for a president, vice-president, 300 lawmakers and thousands of local government posts.
Reporting by Manuel Mogato; Editing by Robert Birsel