MANILA, Philippines – Filipino boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao paid a visit to Malacañang on Wednesday, May 13, the same day he arrived in the Philippines after his mega fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr.
President Benigno Aquino III welcomed Pacquiao at the Music Room in the Palace at 3 pm. With the boxer was Wilson Tieng, president of Solar Sports, and Michael Koncz, one of his advisers.
During the 30-minute meeting, Aquino asked about Pacquiao's shoulder injury. The boxer, explained to the President, as he has to media, that he felt the pain during the 3rd round of the 12-round fight and could not box the way he wanted for the rest of the bout.
Aquino congratulated and thanked Pacquiao for brigning honor to the country. He also offered his two cents regarding the fight, saying he thought Mayweather started strong in early rounds and projected himself as the agressor, which he said influenced the final decision.
The President also said he felt that Mayweather avoided exchanging flurries with Pacquiao in close distance.
Pacquiao also told Aquino he would rest first when he was asked about his immediate plans. He, however, asked the President if they could go shooting again – a common interest – when his shoulder is healed. Aquino agreed. Pacquiao's shoulder is expected to heal in about 3 months.
The 8-divison world champion also gave Aquino two black jackets as souvenirs of the fight.
Ryan Lim/ Malacau00f1ang Photo Bureau
This was not the first time Pacquiao paid a courtesy call on Aquino after an international fight.
Pacquiao is seen as a national hero in the Philippines, where millions consider the Sarangani congressman and world-class athlete as a symbol of hope, having grown up in extreme poverty.
His fight with Mayweather was a much anticipated bout that took over 5 years in the making, and saw legions of Filipino fans gather in Las Vegas to watch the bout live. Pacquiao lost in the scorecards of the 3 judges, who scored the fight 118-110, 116-112, and 116-112.
Pacquiao returned to Manila Wednesday morning to throngs of fans who gathered to welcome him on the streets. From the airport, Pacquiao stopped by the Dusit Thani Hotel in Makati City for an exclusive breakfast event. Afterwards, he had a motorcade around Makati and Manila, where Pacquiao distributed t-shirts and posters to fans. – Rappler.com