Duterte congratulates Pacquiao for victory over Matthysse

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DAVAO CITY (July 15) — President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday congratulated  Filipino boxing icon Senator Manny Pacquiao for giving the Philippines pride and honor after winning the WBA welterweight title via a technical knockout  over Argentina’s Lucas Matthysse in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

In a press statement, Duterte said “Daghang salamat (thank you so much), Manny! You are truly the People’s Champ!.”

Duterte and Malaysian Prime Minister Bin Mahathir Mohammad watched the game  inside the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur.

(L-R) MaLaysian Prime Minister Bin Mahathir Mohamad, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, Presidential son Baste and SAP Bong Go cheered while Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao threw power punches against Lucas Matthysse.-PPD Photo

Pacquiao showed his old form in knocking down the Argentine brawler in the third and fifth rounds.

In an interview after the fight, Matthysse said  “He’s  a great fighter. He’s a great champion. You win some, and you lose some. Today was my turn to lose, but I lost to a great fighter and a great legend in Manny Pacquiao. First I would like to rest and go back home. The hard work has been done. The fight has taken place. I lost, but I walk away with my head raised. I’m sorry to Argentina, but I’m fine. Thank you for all the love and support, and we’ll be seeing all my family and friends soon.”

In the seventh round, Kenny Bayless called off the fight after two minutes and 43 seconds of the seventh round.  Matthysse spit his mouth guard, prompting the referee to stop the fight to the delight of the crowd including the Filipino leader.

“I would like to congratulate Senator Manny Pacquiao for giving us pride and bringing the Filipino nation together once more,” 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 added.

The President said Pacquiao’s first stoppage win in nine years “will surely cement, yet again, your position and legacy in boxing’s Hall of Fame”.

“May you continue to inspire Filipinos not only in boxing but also in the public service,” Duterte said.-Harold V. Pontongan/NewsLine.ph

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