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Duterte wants Manny to retire, ‘enjoy life’

President Duterte praised Sen. Manny Pacquiao for winning the World Boxing Association welter­weight title from Lucas Matthysse in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia yester­day.

PRESIDENT Duterte and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad watch from the stands during the World Boxing Association welterweight title fight between Manny Pacquiao and Lucas Matthysse at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur. Pacquiao won via technical knockout in the seventh round.

PRESIDENT Duterte and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad watch from the stands during the World Boxing Association welterweight title fight between Manny Pacquiao and Lucas Matthysse at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur. Pacquiao won via technical knockout in the seventh round.

Duterte, in a statement, con­gratulated Pacquiao for uniting and giving the Filipino people pride in the boxing arena.

“I would like to congratulate Sen. Manny Pacquiao for giving us pride and bringing the Filipino nation together once more,” Du­terte said.

“Daghang salamat, Manny! You are truly the People’s Champ!” he added.

Duterte also said that the sen­ator proved that his renowned abilities are worthy of being rec­ognized. “You have proven time and again that you are not just a public servant, but one of the greatest boxers of all time,” the President said.

“This win will surely cement, yet again, your position and leg­acy in boxing’s Hall of Fame,” he added.

Duterte hoped that Pacquiao, one of his closest allies in the Sen­ate, will continue to serve as an inspiration to the Filipino people. “May you continue to inspire Filipi­nos not only in boxing but also in the public service,” Duterte said.

However, Duterte, in an inter­view with Filipino reporters in Kuala Lumpur, said he told Pac­quiao after the fight that he wants him to retire.

“I said he’s 39. Not because he cannot win, or lose, but I’d like to see my friend rest on his laurels at this time and enjoy life,” he said. “He has so much money al­ready. No problem. He can enjoy life,” he added.

Malaysian Prime Minister Ma­hathir Mohammad said the fight was a “historical day for Malay­sia,” especially since Pacquiao fought in his country.

“This is indeed a historical day for Malaysia when we have a Fili­pino champion fighting in Malay­sia,” Mahathir said.

“That’s why the leaders of both countries have our boxing diplo­macy, we don’t punch each oth­er,” he added.

-Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos

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