Manny Pacquiao’s popularity in his Philippines election campaign has reportedly declined in the wake of his controversial remarks that homosexuals are “worse than animals”.
Last month the boxer came under fire for his anti-gay stance, with the “abhorrent” comments prompting sponsor Nike to terminate its contract with him.
The first and only eight-division world champion has been an elected member of his country’s House of Representatives for the last eight years, but now wants to become part of the Senate.
The latest Pulse Asia survey revealed 35 per cent of respondents were in favour of Pacquiao – down 12 points on the 47 per cent who expressed support for him in January.
The 37-year-old Fillipino boxer suffered the greatest losses among any candidate in the survey of 1,800 people.
In comments which later got picked up around the world, Pacquiao compared gay people to animals in an interview with local Philippines broadcaster.
After choosing to end their contract with him, Nike, the world’s largest sportswear maker, said in a statement: “We find Manny Pacquiao’s comments abhorrent.”