Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao, who was defeated by Cuba’s Yordenis Ugas during their WBA welterweight title fight in Las Vegas, Nevada, “will always be our people’s champ”, Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said Sunday, August 22.
It was 42-year-old Pacquiao’s first fight after a two-year absence from the ring, against Ugas, 35, who won by unanimous decision.
“Our good senator lost to the better boxer today. Obviously, the lapse of two years from his last fight has not helped him in this fight plus the fact that he has aged by another two years,” Lacson said.
Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leoardia said, “While we are stunned by the unexpected result of the fight of our adopted son, Senator Manny Pacquiao, in his WBA title… we saw that he put up a gallant fight worthy of respect and admiration by boxing followers around the world.”
The fact remains that his unequaled eight-division world titles have made him a living legend in the sport. What he has achieved in boxing is something no other has ever done, he said.
He is immortalized among the greatest boxers ever, Leonardia said.
Former Bacolod Mayor Monico Puentevella, who joined Pacquiao in Las Vegas, said “this is sports to the highest degree. Some you win. Some you lose”.
Puentevella said there were reasons that happened behind the scenes for Pacquiao’s defeat, but that does not take the credit away from Ugas who was the better fighter on Sunday.
He said Pacquiao had asked him to join him in Las Vegas after the Tokyo Olympics.
Puentevella said what is remarkable about Pacquiao is that when he said goodnight after the fight the first thing he told him was “we have an 11 a.m. Bible study again tomorrow morning.”
“That Manny Pacquiao for you – for God and country,” Puentevella said.*