MALACAÑANG on Sunday commended newly crowned WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao, calling him the “National Treasure in Global Sports” following his victory against Jessie Vargas in Las Vegas.
“The Palace thanks the people for their invaluable support for our boxers in times of success and even during failures,” Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said in a statement after Pacquiao’s victory.
“Once again, Manny’s triumph united and brought joy to our people and our nation. The discipline, the determination, and the hard work of our People’s Champ are truly what make him a National Treasure in Global Sports,” he said.
Coming out of retirement, Pacquiao won over Vargas via a unanimous decision at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Pacquiao, fighting for the first time since winning a Senate seat in May, took the WBO welterweight title after winning in the judges’ scorecards, 114-113, 118-109, and 118-109.
Malacañang also honored Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire who failed to defend his WBO junior featherweight title against Jessie Magdaleno in their undercard match.
“Nonito Donaire’s quest to be the ‘king in the ring’ unfortunately did not materialize. This, however, would not diminish the honors he bestowed to the people and to the flag. He remains ‘The Filipino Flash’ with his quick hand speed and formidable punching power,” said Andanar. “The courage and grit displayed by our Filipino boxers in Las Vegas are the same qualities we must demonstrate as a nation to rid society of drugs, criminality and corruption,” Andanar said.
Pacquiao stepped on the gas early on, scoring a second round knockdown on Vargas before showing his dominance later in the match.
Judge Dave Moretti had a close 114-113 win for Pacquiao, Glenn Trowbridge and Glenn Feldman gave the now three-time WBO champion the better of identical 118-109 scores.
Pacquiao was expected to fly home immediately to attend the remaining Senate sessions for the year.
Magdaleno fashioned out a unanimous decision over Donaire in the undercard of the Pacquiao-Vargas bout to improve to 24-0.
Donaire suffered his fourth loss in 41 fights.
Magdaleno was the busier fighter throughout the fight, winning points by luring Donaire in for counterpunches.
Donaire tried to rally in the later rounds, rocking Magdaleno a few times in the 10th round. But it wasn’t enough to overcome Magdaleno’s lead.
Lawmakers congratulated their colleague Sunday.
“I join the whole nation in celebrating the glorious triumph of my friend and colleague, our nation’s pride, Senator Manny Pacquiao,” said Senator Juan Edgardo Angara.
“Once again, he showcased to the whole world the Filipino’s heart and determination, that with faith in God, coupled with right focus and discipline, no battle is insurmountable, no matter how difficult and extremely unbearable they may be,” he also said.
Senator Nancy Binay said Pacquiao showed again the determination of Filipinos when he won his bout with Vargas.
“I have seen how Senator Manny works in the Senate, how dedicated he is to serve our country. I believe that this is the same fire that fuels him in boxing and it is very much alive,” she said.
Members of the House of Representatives also congratulated Pacquiao.
Pacquiao reaped praises from Leyte Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez and her husband, former representative Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, who cited Pacquiao for bringing continued honor, glory and recognition to the country.
“His victory showed the Filipinos’ strong determination to succeed in life despite big challenges. Apart from uniting the nation once again, the resounding triumph of Pacquiao demonstrates to the world the hard work, courage and strength of the Filipino people,” she said.
“I am very proud as a colleague and a Filipino,” said Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas, Pacquiao’s fellow lawmaker in the 16th Congress.
Representatives Robert Ace Barbers of Surigao del Norte, Romeo Acop of Rizal’s Antipolo City, Sherwin Tugna of Citizens Battle Against Corruption party-list, Ben Evardone of Eastern Samar, Karlo Nograles of Davao City, Miro Quimbo of Marikina City and Ricky Sandoval of Malabon City also congratulated Pacquiao for his win over Vargas.
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