By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
Malacañang is wishing Senator Manny Pacquiao the best of luck as he faces unbeaten WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman in Las Vegas on Sunday.
In his Thursday press briefing, Panelo said that Pacquiao is up for a good fight because his opponent is also a good fighter.
“We wish him the best of luck in the world. He’s fighting someone… I’ve seen some of the fights of Thurman, mukhang magaling din (He seems to be a good boxer, too),” he said.
“Bata pa. Magaling. Yung ating boxer magaling din, eh (Thurman is young. He is good. But our boxer is good as well),” he added.
In July last year, President Duterte flew to Malaysia to watch Pacquiao’s fight against Argentine boxer Lucas Matthyse. After the match, Duterte congratulated Pacquiao for cementing his position in the boxing world.
“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 last year.
After seeing the Senator win against Matthyse, Duterte said that it may be time for Pacquiao to retire.
“This win will surely cement, yet again, your position and legacy in boxing’s Hall of Fame,” he added.
Dtuerte then expressed hope that Pacquiao, one of his closes 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 in an interview with Filipino reporters in Kuala Lumpur, Duterte said he told Pacquiao after the fight that he wants the boxing champion to retire already.
“I said he’s 39. Not because he cannot win, or lose, but I’d like to see my friend rest on his laurel sa (at the)… at this time and enjoy life,” he said.
“He has so much money already. No problem. He can enjoy life,” he added. (Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos)