Promoter: Pacquiao Delivered Reid’s Knockout Punch

Posted February 17, 2011 at 5:14pm

World champion boxer Manny Pacquiao may have been the boost Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) needed in the final days of his campaign, according to Reid, Pacquiao and the boxer’s promoter, Bob Arum.

Pacquiao, an elected member of the Philippine Congress, was in town this week for meetings on Capitol Hill with Reid and at the White House with President Barack Obama.

In line with what a boxing promoter does, Arum hyped Pacquiao’s influence on Reid’s November victory to reporters at a Capitol news conference Tuesday and accurately cited Reid’s position in the polls on the Friday before the election, when Pacquiao appeared at a get-out-the-vote rally with Reid in Las Vegas.

“You can believe or disbelieve polls, but on the Friday before Election Day, Harry was 4 points behind,” Arum said, according to a video posted by SB Nation.

“On Election Day, the Senator won by 5 points,” he added, according to SB Nation. “Now, a lot of that was the enthusiasm that Manny created. No question about it.”

Arum then noted that Republican Sharron Angle’s high-profile appearance in Las Vegas the same day was with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

“Sharron Angle, who was running against Senator Reid, elected to have at her final rally John McCain,” Arum said. “I don’t know what you think of John McCain, but he’s no contest for Manny Pacquiao.”

At their news conference, Reid, a former amateur boxer, said Pacquiao’s appearance “was a big shot in the arm for my campaign.” Asked whether it helped put him over the top, Reid said, “Sure.”

CNN interviewed Pacquiao on his train ride into Washington, and the boxer said he helped Reid “a little bit.”