Malacañang thanked Manny Pacquiao for bringing pride and honor to the country after the boxer-turned-senator announced that he is retiring from professional boxing.
In a Palace press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that Filipinos have always admired the People’s Champ for both his victories and defeats.
“Nagpapasalamat tayo kay (We express gratitude to) Senator Pacquiao because he has honored the country with his many successes and we share in the joy of his triumphs as well as in his defeats,” he said.
“We are proud that he is a Filipino and he has also made us very proud to be Filipinos,” he added.
On Wednesday, Pacquiao announced that he is retiring from boxing after a decades-long career in the ring.
“It is difficult for me to accept that my time for me as a boxer is over. Today I am announcing my retirement,” he said in a 14-minute video message posted on his official social media accounts.
He admitted that it was “the hardest decision” he has ever made, but noted that he was also “at peace” with it.
“I never thought that this day would come. As I hang up my boxing gloves, I would like to thank the whole world, especially the Filipino people for supporting Manny Pacquiao. Goodbye boxing, thank you for changing my life,” he added.
In what turned out to be his last professional boxing match, Pacquiao lost in a unanimous decision to Cuban Yordenis Ugas for the World Boxing Association (WBA) super welterweight world title in Las Vegas, Nevada last month.
He leaves the sport with a ring record of 62 wins, eight losses, and two draws.
Pacquiao is boxing’s only eight-division champion.
His retirement means he will get to focus on his political career as he aims for the highest post in the May 2022 polls.
On Sept. 19, Pacquiao declared that he will join the presidential race and vowed to tackle poverty and corruption.
He entered politics in 2010 as a congressman before being elected to the Senate in 2016. PNA