Boxing great Manny Pacquiao has won a seat in the Philippine Senate based on an unofficial count and was set to be proclaimed Thursday with other senatorial winners, bringing him closer to a possible crack at the presidency.

The 37-year-old Pacquiao has garnered more than 15.5 million votes with more than 96 percent of voting precincts counted and was in 7th place of 12 winning senators. He has been a member of the House of Representatives and said earlier this year he will retire from boxing to become a full-time politician.

Considered a hero in his country, Pacquiao has indicated in the past he would consider a run for the presidency but often tried to ditch the topic, saying he was too young and inexperienced.