Malacañang hailed Manny Pacquiao’s win over Keith Thurman as the victory of the entire nation.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the “Pambansang Kamao” (National First) again “puts the flag above the pedestal with his display of tenacity and courage.”
“At the start of the year, Senator Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao made the whole country proud as he successfully defended his WBA welterweight belt over American Adrien Broner. Six months later, he doubled this feat as he defeated Keith Thurman today via split decision, even knocking him down in the first round,” Panelo’s statement read.
“Pacquiao’s victory is not only his, but of the entire nation. As such, the Palace is one in rejoicing with the Filipino people.”
The 40-year-old Pacquiao, the new World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight super champion, handed Thurman his first defeat, taking a split decision. Judges Dave Moretti and Tim Cheatham had it 115-112 for Pacquiao while Glenn Feldman had Thurman 114-113.
The 30-year-old Thurman (29-1) fought well enough to win but he hasn’t fought anyone the caliber of Pacquiao before.
“Manny Pacquiao is a truly great champion,” Thurman said. “ … I wish I had a little more output to go toe-to-toe. … My conditioning was a little behind Manny Pacquiao’s,” Thurman said.
Pacquiao said he likely won’t fight again until 2020. He improved to 62-7-2.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles also sent his greetings to Pacquiao “for bringing honor to the Philippines and proving “that hard work and faith are the one-two punch to winning in life, inside and outside the boxing ring.”
“May you continue to inspire our countrymen with your achievements, and serve as a model to our people with the humility and grace you display after every hard-fought contest. Mabuhay ka, Pacman!” Nograles said in a statement. (With a report from Yahoo Sports)