LAWMAKERS on Sunday advised Senator Emmanuel Pacquiao to retire from boxing and concentrate instead on his legislative duties but others wanted a rematch, saying they were unconvinced by Pacquiao’s defeat.
“In spite of the loss, I congratulate Manny for doing his best. He will remain the pride of the country. However, I agree that Pacquiao [should consider] retiring from boxing,” Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano said.
“Boxing is a dangerous sport and he is not getting any younger,” Alejano added, referring to the advantage of Pacquiao’s much younger opponent during the bout that made the judges vote unanimously in favor of Pacquiao’s opponent, Australian Jeff Horn.
Alejano said Pacquiao had to admit that “age is catching up on him.”
“He has to take care of his health and maybe focus on his primary job as senator of the republic and of course to be a healthy father to his children.”
PBA Rep. Jericho Nograles said he was upset that Pacquiao had lost the match but that it would be up to the senator if he wanted to give up his career in boxing.
“That is up to Senantor Manny to decide. He is free to make that decision. I think Senator Manny is doing a good job as a senator. We have 20 plus senators and most people cannot recite all of their names. But most people will remember that Manny is a senator,” Nograles said.
Nograles called for a rematch, however, saying that Pacquiao had a convincing lead.
Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles, chairman of the House committee on appropriations, agreed with his brother that Pacquiao’s defeat was hard to believe.
“I’m sure everyone will agree that Manny Pacquiao deserved to win that fight. At one point toward the final rounds, the referee even warned Jeff Horn that he was going to stop the fight. Horn was visibly hurt and was not as strong going into the final rounds,” he said.
Jericho Nograles said Pacquiao, in his many victorious fights, had proven that every time he fought, the country’s crime rate went down.
“On the side, I have a question: Any shots fired in Marawi while Pacman was fighting? I’m curious to know. Usually, crime stops when either the Pope or Pacman is in town. Was there an effect on the fighting in Marawi?” he said.
The Palace said despite the loss, Pacquiao would remain the “People’s Champ.”
“Malacañang thanks our countrymen who gave unrelenting support to Manny Pacquiao during the times of victory as well as loss,” said Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella.
“Manny Pacquiao’s loss in Brisbane would not diminish the honors he bestowed on the people and on the flag.”©”Nothing will change: Senator Manny Pacquaio will remain our People’s Champ, the National Fist, and national treasure in global sports.”© Long live Manny!” Abella said.
Pacquiao’s colleagues in the Senate said only he could decide if he should hang up his gloves.
“Let us not interfere in the boxing career decisions of Senator Manny. He is the only one who knows his body [condition]. Hence, we let him decide,” said Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, when if Pacquiao should retire from boxing and instead focus on lawmaking after his latest defeat.
Pimentel, who is on official visit in France, said Pacquiao, a party mate at PDP-Laban, is forever his hero and idol.
“When he was at the peak of his boxing career and global popularity, he allowed me to be his friend. And I will be his friend and admirer up to the day I say goodbye to this world,” he said.
Senator Juan Edgardo Angara said Filipinos would always be proud of Pacquiao and what he has done for sports and the entire country.
“What I can say is he has nothing to prove anymore inside the boxing ring. He has long transcended boxing. He is a very popular icon in the international arena. For us, he is a legend already,” he added.
Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III and Senator Richard Gordon, on the other hand, cried foul over what they said was a “hometown decision” in Brisbane.
“Manny fought well. Referee and judges did not deduct the headbutts he sustained. Punches while in headlock were counted for Horn. It’s called a hometown decision,” said Sotto.
In his Facebook posts, Gordon bewailed the results of the bout.
Other senators commended Pacquiao for putting up a good fight. With Sandy Araneta