Palace congratulates Sen. Pacquiao for regaining WBO welterweight title

MANILA – Malacanang congratulated Senator Manny Pacquiao for regaining the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title via unanimous victory against younger and taller Jessie Vargas of Mexico at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada on Sunday (Manila time).

”Once again, Manny’s triumph united and brought joy to our people and our nation,” Presidential Communications Office (PCO) Secretary Martin Andanar said in a press statement.

In an interview with radio dzBB, Andanar said Pacquiao’s impressive win would hopefully lead to a possible rematch with undefeated American Floyd Mayweather.

”With his win, Manny showed that he is ready for a rematch with Mayweather. So we would like to congratulate Senator Pacquiao for making us proud,” Andanar said.

”The discipline, the determination, and the hard work of our People’s Champ are truly what make him a National Treasure in Global Sports,” he added.

Pacquiao lost his WBO title to Mayweather in their May 2, 2015 fight at the MGM Grand, also in Las Vegas.

Against Vargas, the 37-year-old Pacquiao used his vast experience and scored a knockdown in the second round en route to his second straight win since his loss to Mayweather and his first win as senator.

It was the 59th win in 67 fights for Pacquiao, the first and only boxer to win world titles in eight different weight divisions, while Vargas suffered his only second defeat in 30 fights.

Andanar also thanked Nonito ‘The Flash’ Donaire despite losing to younger and undefeated Mexican fighter Jessie Magdaleno in an undercard fight.

”Nonito Donaire’s quest to be the ‘king in the ring’ unfortunately did not materialize. This, however, would not diminish the honors he bestowed to the people and to the flag. He remains ‘The Filipino Flash’ with his quick hand speed and formidable punching power,” Andanar said.

Donaire, 33, suffered a unanimous decision defeat, his fourth in 41 fights, while Magdaleno improved his unblemished record to 24-0 with 17 knockouts.

”The courage and grit displayed by our Filipino boxers in Las Vegas are the same qualities we must demonstrate as a nation to rid society of drugs, criminality and corruption,” Andanar said.

”Government has been successfully waging a war on these fronts and we as a people — emulating our boxers’ toughness against all odds — must continue the strong gains as we battle towards victory,” he added. Jelly Musico/