By Argyll Cyrus Geducos, Hannah Torregoza, Charissa Luci-Atienza, Francis Wakefield, Martin Sadongdong, and AFP
With the latest WBA welterweight champ title now tucked under his belt, President Duterte told People’s Champ Manny Pacquiao that it’s time for him to retire and enjoy life.
“I said he’s 39. Not because he cannot win, or lose, but I’d like to see my friend rest on his laurel sa (at the)… at this time and enjoy life,” he said.
“He has so much money already. No problem. He can enjoy life,” he added.
Millions of boxing fans across the country erupted in cheers and tears of joy on Sunday after national icon Manny Pacquiao beat
Argentine Lucas Matthysse in a world title bout.
In the run-up to the fight, 39-year-old Pacquiao was trailed by whispers that he was past his prime and doubts he would be able to best the big-punching Matthysse, who is four years his junior.
But when Pacquiao’s victory was sealed in the seventh round by technical knockout, fans around the nation of 100 million jumped to their feet and roared with joy.
”I was confident he could do it. It’s not about his age,” Christopher Lasala, 39, told AFP. ”I was so happy when he knocked out Matthysse, I kept clapping. I said I knew Pacquiao would win.”
Flora dela Paz, a life-long boxing fan, had tears streaming down her face as she watched Pacquiao raise his arms in victory.
”I am just so happy. I got goosebumps,” the 68-year-old retired shoemaker told AFP. ”He won, he won!”
Pacquiao’s rags-to-riches story, from high school dropout to millionaire world boxing champion in an unprecedented eight weight divisions, is a huge source of pride in the Philippines.
In keeping with tradition, many Filipinos stopped what they were doing to watch Pacquiao’s fight, which took place around midday on Sunday.
President Rodrigo Duterte, who attended the bout at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur with Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, flashed a thumbs up after Pacquiao’s win.
Time to retire President Duterte has high praises for Senator Manny Pacquiao as he bagged the WBA welterweight title from Argentine boxer Lucas Matthysse in their fight in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Sunday.
Duterte, in a statement, congratulated Pacquiao for uniting and giving the Filipino people pride in the boxing arena.
“I would like to congratulate Senator Manny Pacquiao for giving us pride and bringing the Filipino nation together once more,” Duterte said. “Daghang salamat, Manny! You are truly the People’s Champ!”
Duterte also said that the senator proved that his renowned abilities is worthy of being recognized.
“You have proven time and again that you are not just a public servant, but one of the greatest boxers of all time,” the President said.
“This win will surely cement, yet again, your position and legacy in boxing’s Hall of Fame,” he added.
Duterte then hopes that Pacquiao, one of his closes allies in the Senate, will continue to serve as an inspiration to the Filipino people.
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad, meanwhile, said the boxing match was a “historical day for Malaysia,” especially since Pacquiao fought there.
“This is indeed a historical day for Malaysia when we have a Filipino champion fighting in Malaysia,” Mahathir said.
“That’s why the leaders of both countries have our boxing diplomacy, we don’t punch each other,” he added.
In his post-match interview, Pacquiao thanked Duterte for flying to Malaysia to watch his fight, and also praised the President.
“We have a good president,” Pacquiao said amid “Duterte” chants from his supporters who joined him on the boxing ring, including Bureau of Corrections chief Ronald Dela Rosa.
Malacañang, meanwhile, also extended its felicitations to Pacquiao who scored his first knockout in nine years.
“With Senator Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao’s victory against Lucas Matthysse for the WBA welterweight belt, the Palace is one with the Filipino people in celebrating this tremendous feat,” Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said in a statement.
Roque, in a statement, thanked the 39year-old Pacquiao for bringing honor to the country anew through his 60th victory.
“We thank our Pambansang Kamao for not only bringing honor and glory to our flag and country but once again uniting Filipinos here and abroad with his display of courage, tenacity and will power,” he said.
Proud of PacMan Congratulations poured in from senators who were elated to see world-boxing icon and Senator Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao scoring a technical knockout victory over Lucas Matthysse.
“Manny should serve as an inspiration for our countrymen. He proved that we can all do anything. If it is to be, it must be up to us. Congrats to the Greatness of the Filipino!” Sen. Richard Gordon said in a statement.
Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III also said he was amazed at Pacquiao’s performance during the bout, dispelling perceptions he has slowed down with age.
“I thought I was watching him 10 years ago when he was 29 yrs old. He trained well,” Sotto said.
Sen. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito also said he is “very happy and proud of Pacquiao’s victory.
” Manny has given so much pride and honor to our country. He is one of the best boxers ever,” said Ejercito, who flew to Malaysia to watch the fight
Sen. Panfilo Lacson, likewise, thanked God for answering his prayer.
“My early morning prayer today was for him and Jhack Tepora to be safe, not to be hurt badly and victorious, all in that order,” Lacsom said.
Sen. Nancy Binay also took pride at Pacquiao’s ability to unite Filipinos.
“As ever, Pacman’s ability to unite us Filipinos and take our breath away with his every move during his matches has no equal. He is our nation’s pride and joy,” Binay said.
Sen. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, for his part said Pacquiao showed the world he is still a force to be reckoned with in boxing. “Mabuhay siya for continuing to bring glory to the country!” Angara said.
Sen. Cynthia Villar said that in winning the World Boxing Association Welterweight belt, Pacquiao once more proved that “nothing is impossible if you put your heart and mind in achieving a goal.”
Sen. Francis Escudero said: “My hats off to Manny! He is not only a great boxer but a true and humble sportsman.”
Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri also congratulated Pacquiao: “The fighter of the century. Collecting belts and leaping across weight divisions, Pacman is in a class up there with the greatest of boxers.”
Lawmakers extended yesterday their felicitations to Senator Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao for consistently bringing honor and pride to the country after winning over Lucas Matthysse.
“At a time the country really needed lifting of its spirits, Manny comes to do it with absolute sincerity and honesty. He’s a true hero,” Deputy Speaker and Marikina City Rep. Miro Quimbo said.
“Sen. Manny is always there to give honor and pride for our country…Pacquiao succeeded in proving to the world that a Filipino can stand up to the best of the best anytime, anywhere,” House Deputy Speaker and Batangas Rep. Raneo Abu said.
Leyte Rep. Yedda Marie Kittilstvedt Romualdez said Pacquiao’s victory showed the Filipinos strong determination to succeed in life despite big challenges.
Quezon City Rep. Winston “Winnie” Castelo, chairman of the House Committee on Metro Manila Development, Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte, and Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers thanked Pacquiao for always inspiring the nation.
Eastern Samar Rep. Evardone said Pacquiao’s victory will lift up the spirit of many Filipinos. “It is definitely a big morale booster to us,” said.
“Thanks for inspiring and giving us strength once again,” AKO Bicol party-list Rep. Rodel Batocabe said.
Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas also cited Pacquiao’s victory. “I am very proud as a colleague and a Filipino. Sen. Pacquiao brings happiness to us once again.”
AFP celebrates Pacquiao’s win
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) joined the whole nation in celebrating another victory by Pambansang Kamao, Senator and Reserved Army Colonel Manny Pacquiao against Argentine boxer Lucas Matthysse.
In a statement, the AFP said Pacquiao’s latest triumph of winning the WBA Welterweight world title did not only demonstrate the Filipino’s natural trait of strength and courage, he also showed the world, how determined, disciplined and hardworking the Filipinos are; just like his comrades in the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
“Our soldiers are proud and inspired not only by the performance Manny Pacquiao demonstrated in the ring, but as well as the humility he manifested despite his triumphant win,” the AFP said.
“The whole Armed Forces is all out in its support to our boxing champion. His discipline, dedication, and hard-work continue to inspire our soldiers to do the same in the exercise of their duties and the fulfillment of their mandates to our country,” it added.
“That’s why the Flipino soldiers especially wherein he is a reservist natin is very proud of his accomplishment, are very proud of his achievement because he showed the motto of every soldier – when wounded you get more brave,” he added.
Knockout crimes, drugs
PNP chief, Director General Oscar Albayalde hopes that the fighting senator’s win would serve as an inspiration for every Filipinos to join in knocking out the country’s problems on criminality and illegal drugs.
“Nawa ang panahong ito ay magsisilbing halimbawa at inspirasyon ng bawat Pilipino na kaya natin pabagsakin ang problema sa kriminalidad at ilegal na droga kung tayo ay magtulong-tulong at magkakaisa sa labang ito,” he added. (We hope that this [win] would serve as an example and inspiration for every Filipinos that we can knockout the problems on criminality and illegal drugs if we will just help each other and unite in this fight.)
Following the fight, #PacquiaoMatthysse was the top trending topic on Twitter in the social media-obsessed Philippines, along with the hashtags ”Manny” and ”Fight of the Champions.”