PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte said Sunday said he wants Senator Manny Pacquiao to retire from boxing after defeating Argentine boxer Lucas Matthysse for the World Boxing Association welterweight belt in Kuala Lumpur.
“I’d like to see my friend rest on his laurels at this time and enjoy life,” the President told reporters who were also in the Malaysian capital to watch the bout.
“He [Pacquiao] has so much money already, no problem,” the President said.
Duterte added that he would take inspiration from Pacquiao’s triumph when he holds discussions with Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who also watched the fight.
“I have no regrets that I came earlier to watch the fight. It’s a good one, it’s the first time that I have traveled outside the Philippines just to see him fight,” he told reporters.
Mahathir said it was a “historic day for Malaysia.”
Paquiao thanked the two world leaders for being there to watch him fight.
“To the Filipinos, thank you very much, especially to our President,” Paquiao said in Filipino in an interview with ABS-CBN News.
“We have a good President... and thank you, Mr. President for being our president. And also the Prime Minister, Mahathir, thank you so much to all your support,” he added.
In a post-match interview, Pacquiao said he has yet to pick who he will fight next. Instead, he is focused on going back to the country and resume his job as a senator.
“That’s another story or another discussion. Right now, I’m happy to go back to my country and to celebrate the victory with my fellow countrymen and of course, to do my job as a public servant,” he told GMA News.