Legendary Philippine boxer and Senator Manny Pacquiao.


Manny Pacquiao now ‘greatest 40-year-old boxer’, says mayor


BACOLOD CITY — Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia hailed the latest triumph of legendary boxer and Senator Manny Pacquiao on the boxing ring, saying it was “a clear victory” against his American opponent Keith Thurman.

“Manny has once again proven that he is a case of ‘may edad na pero may abilidad pa!’ He can now also claim the title as ‘the greatest 40-year old boxer,” the mayor said in a statement on Sunday.

With his win against Thurman, Pacquiao became the new WBA super welterweight champion.

“It was a no-contest. When Senator Manny knocked down Thurman in the first round, we knew what was going to happen next. How it was ruled a close split decision is beyond my comprehension,” Leonardia added.

Leonardia, who was the Philippine flag bearer in Pacquiao’s previous fights, was not able to join the Team Pacquiao at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas this time because of his tight schedule on the week of the match.

It was reigning Miss Universe Catriona Gray, who went up the boxing ring to raise the Philippine flag.

Leonardia, who watched the fight in Manila, shared that minutes before Pacquiao climbed into the ring, the senator’s personal lawyer Tom Falgui made a video call to him from the locker room.

“Manny and I were able to exchange waves and fist signs. I was able, therefore, to wish him good luck despite being miles and miles away here in Manila,” he said.

Pacquiao, an adopted son of Bacolod City, first asked Leonardia to carry his belt in 2005. Since 2006, the mayor has been carrying the Philippine flag inside the ring for the only eight-division world boxing champion.

Meanwhile, in Bacolod, about 15,000 people flocked to watch the free live viewing of the Pacquiao-Thurman fight in eight venues.

The neighboring cities of Talisay, Bago and other local government units in Negros Occidental also set up free live broadcast of the fight in their own gymnasiums. PNA


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