Senators laud Pacquiao after fight loss
MANILA, Philippines — Senators lauded their colleague, Manny Pacquiao, even after his loss to Cuban boxer Yordenis Ugas in their World Boxing Association welterweight title fight on Saturday (August 21, 2021) at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
In separate statements, fellow senators who are also long-time supporters of Pacquiao said that even if he was not able to bring home the title, he continues to be the Filipino people’s champion.
“He is still my champion, he made the Filipino proud!” said Senate President Vicente Sotto III in a message to reporters.
According to Sotto, Pacquiao’s defeat also could have been rooted in the fact that Ugas was a last-minute draft against Pacquiao after his original opponent Errol Spence Jr. withdrew due to an eye injury.
Sen. Sonny Angara, on the other hand, noted that Ugas fought a “smart fight” after saying he remains proud of the Filipino boxing legend even after the loss.
“Nothing to be ashamed of for Sen Manny. He gave it his all. Ugas fought a smart fight,” said Angara in a statement.
“Gracious in both victory and defeat. Mabuhay ka Manny! You have been an inspiration in the last 20 or so years for all of us. Idol pa rin,” he added.
Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri also praised the senator-professional boxer, saying that “he has once again proved himself a legendary fighter,” and the “best athlete we have ever had, and the world has ever seen.”
“After decades of victories in the ring, he continues to improve and to challenge himself, and to fight with the same spirit and humility he had as an amateur boxer,” said Zubiri in a statement.
“I am so proud of him, as his kumpadre, as a colleague, as a Filipino. Salamat, Sen. Manny!” he added.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson honored Pacquiao and said that he will always be the People’s Champ after he has brought “unprecedented honor to our country.”
“I don’t think there will be another boxer in the world who can equal his feat. At least not in 100 years. That, plus his big heart for the poor and the downtrodden. On both counts, he is the champion we always love and admire,” he said.
Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel, on the other hand, called Pacquiao a “national treasure,” congratulating both him and Ugas for a “gallant competitive” fight.
“Congratulations pa rin sa atin Pambansang Kamao, our national treasure, Sen Manny Pacquiao for a gallant competitive world championship fight. Pinakita niya ang katapangan at kahusayan ng pusong Pilipino sa larangan ng sports na pwede din natin magamit sa ibang aspeto ng buhay,” he said.
“Siempre congratulations din kay Ugas na ipinakita sa mundo na siya ay isang tunay at deserving na world champion sa kanyang weight division. Salamat Manny sa 20+ years ng pagpapakilala sa galing ng Pilipinas at Pilipino sa buong mundo,” he added.
Meanwhile, Sen. Richard Gordon called attention to Mark Magsayo who knocked out Mexican fighter Julio Ceja in the 10th round of their featherweight title eliminator bout on the Pacquiao-Ugas undercard.
“Sen Manny fought a brave fight & he can hold his head up high anywhere. He fought a 25 month layoff & vs a taller hungrier Ugas. He has already & truly earned the eternal respect of the world. We are ever proud of him,” said Gordon.
“Let us not also forget our boxer Mark Magsayo from Bohol who scored a spectacular knockout of the year today. He will be a great champion if he works harder & fights harder!” he added.
Meanwhile, Senators Nancy Binay, Grace Poe, and Joel Villanueva publicly expressed their support to the boxing legend on Twitter, with Binay saying that “a champion is defined not by his wins but by how he overcomes setbacks.”
“Time and time again, Pacman has proven that he has the heart of a champion. He will come back better and stronger. Maraming salamat, Sen. Manny Pacquiao. Hindi pa tapos ang laban,” Binay added.
A champion is defined not by his wins but by how he overcomes setbacks. Time and again, Pacman has proven that he has the heart of a champion. He will come back better and stronger.
Maraming salamat, Sen. Manny Pacquiao. Hindi pa tapos ang laban. pic.twitter.com/JSEoRDLeWg
— Senator Nancy Binay (@SenatorBinay) August 22, 2021
“Ikaw pa rin ang Pambansang Kamao sa puso ng bawat Pilipino! Salamat sa isang magandang laban, Sen. Manny!” said Poe.
— GRACE POE (@SenGracePOE) August 22, 2021
“Anuman ang tala ng scorecards, ikaw pa rin ang aming People’s Champ, @mannypacquiao Mahal ka namin at proud pa rin kami sayo! Maraming maraming salamat lalu na sa karangalang iyong binigay sa ating Inang Bayan. Mabuhay! #PambansangKamao #LabanPilipinas” said Villanueva.
Anuman ang tala ng scorecards, ikaw pa rin ang aming People’s Champ, @mannypacquiao 🙏 Mahal ka namin at proud pa rin kami sayo! Maraming maraming salamat lalu na sa karangalang iyong binigay sa ating Inang Bayan 🇵🇭 Mabuhay! 🥊👏🙏 #PambansangKamao #ProudPinoy #LabanPilipinas pic.twitter.com/7dgvQahWWV
— Joel Villanueva (@senatorjoelv) August 22, 2021
Firm allies of President Rodrigo Duterte Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa and Sen. Bong Go also congratulated Pacquiao.
“Sen Pacman may be defeated by Ugas today but nobody can ever beat his record at least in our lifetime. He is forever our legendary champion,” said Dela Rosa.
“Thank you to my fellow Senator and Mindanaoan, Manny Pacquiao, for putting up a gallant fight against reigning WBA (Super) welterweight champion Yordenis Ugas,” said Go.
“Maraming salamat sa ipinamalas mong tapang. Isa kang huwaran na patuloy na nagbibigay ng inspirasyon sa mga kabataang atleta at sa bawat Pilipino. Senator Manny, sa muli, maraming, maraming salamat at mabuhay ka!” he added.
Ugas was a last-minute draft against Pacquiao after his original opponent Errol Spence Jr. was forced to withdraw from the blockbuster showdown because of a retinal tear in his left eye.
Ugas has the World Boxing Association welterweight super title, which was stripped off Pacquiao for inactivity, which ironically made Pacquiao the challenger.
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