KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/23 November)-Malacanang lauded boxing icon and Sarangani Rep. Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao for his convincing victory over American Chris Algieri in their fight in Macau, China Sunday.
Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma hailed Pacquiao as a “role model worthy of emulation.”
“He is a worthy role model and wellspring of inspiration to all Filipinos who are striving to improve their well-being and attain a prosperous future,” Coloma said in a statement.
Like in previous Pacquiao fights, the streets in General Santos were almost deserted for a few hours Sunday as people were glued to their television sets cheering for the boxing champion.
Jubilation filled the air as Pacquiao convincingly defeated Algieri to retain his World Welterweight Organization Welterweight title.
The local government of General Santos City and the provincial government of Sarangani, as well as other local government units in other parts of the country, offered free live viewing of the fight between Pacquiao and Algieri in covered courts or gymnasiums.
Pacquiao owns mansions and businesses in General Santos, his hometown before getting elected as Sarangani representative in 2010. His wife Jinkee is also vice governor of Sarangani province.
Sarangani Governor Steve Chiongbian Solon congratulated Pacquiao on his latest victory.
“We have always been very proud of you,” the governor said.
General Santos City Mayor Ronnel Rivera flew to Macau early this week to personally express his support to Pacquiao.
With his convincing win over the taller and younger Algieri, Pacquiao’s record now stands at 57-5-2, with 38 knockouts. Pacquiao dealt Algieri his first loss.
The 35-year old Pacquiao owns the distinction as the only boxer holding eight world division titles.
His rags-to-riches story has inspired many Filipinos, as well as foreigners.
Pacquiao, who comes from a broken family, dropped out early in school due to poverty and sold bread on the streets before becoming a boxer.
One of the richest Filipinos nowadays, Pacquiao’s generosity to the less-privileged people in the city and neighboring areas has become legendary even before he became a congressman, giving them money or food packs, especially after returning from successful bouts. (MindaNews)