Duterte on Pacquiao: “not just a public servant but one of the greatest boxers of all time”

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/ 15 July) -– Boxing icon and public servant Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao won Sunday’s “Fight of the Champions” in Kuala Lumpur, with President Rodrigo Duterte and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad at the ringside.

In a statement, Duterte said the Filipino boxer and politician gave the country pride and brought the Filipino nation together once more.

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad (left) and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte emerge from the suite room where they were holed up after the sensational knockout victory of Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao over Argentinian Lucas Mathysse held at the Axiata Arena here in Kuala Lumpur. They fielded questions from the press before they left the arena. Photo by EDWIN ESPEJO

The victory of Pacquiao, whose moniker is “People’s Champ,” will surely cement his position and legacy in boxing’s Hall of Fame, Duterte said.

“You have proven time and again that you are not just a public servant, but one of the greatest boxers of all time,” he said.

He wished Pacquiao would continue inspiring the Filipinos not only in boxing but also in the public service.

The Filipino boxer, who is turning 40 this year, snatched the World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight title from 35-year old Argentine fighter after beating him via a technical knockout in the 7thround.

Pacquiao told reporters in a press briefing that he was grateful for the support of his fans and his team who worked hard for the fight.

The Filipino boxer said that Matthysse should not be underestimated as he was also strong opponent.

“From the beginning of the first round, I had in my mind already that I can control the fight but our strategy is to be patient, take time, don’t rush, don’t be careless like what we did before. Just focus on throwing hard punches and counterpunches,” he said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)