‘Boxing will fade away when Pacquiao retires’
Some colleagues of Senator Manny Pacquiao in the Senate do not want him to hang up his gloves yet.
Protesting the results of Pacquiao’s welterweight bout with Australian Jeff Horn, Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto III said Pacquiao should call for a rematch with his 29-year-old opponent.
“If you’re going to ask Pacquiao to retire after his match with Horn, you definitely did not watch the fight,” Sotto said in Filipino during the Kapihan sa Senado on Wednesday.
“Paano pagre-retire-in ’yung di naman natalo as far as the real fight is concerned,” he said.
Sotto, who personally watched the controversial fight in Brisbane, said Pacquiao was a victim of “dagdag-bawas” from the judges who scored the boxing match.
“Parang eleksyon kung minsan ’yan eh, ’yung natalo nadadagdag bawas eh,” he said.
For his part, Senator JV Ejercito said the unfair decision on the Pacquiao-Horn fight was a “huge blow” to the boxing world.
He believes boxing’s popularity will decline once Pacquiao retires from the sports.
“Sa tingin ko pagka-retire ni Senator Pacquiao, boxing will slowly fade ,” Ejercito said in the same forum.
“Matatalo na sila ng MMA (mixed martial arts) because MMA and UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) is becoming more exciting than boxing tapos magkakaroon pa ng mga ganitong decisions that are very questionable so malaking dagok sa boxing ito,” he said.
The senator also lamented how some Filipinos rejoiced Pacquiao’s loss.
“He’s a Filipino. Ihiwalay natin ang politics sa boxing. I really feel bad that there are some people who find joy or who are even celebrating in his loss,” he said.
Pacquiao backed the request of the Games and Amusement Board (GAB) to the World Boxing Organization (WBO) to thoroughly look into the possible miscalls of the referee and the errors made by the judges in the fight.
Pacquiao said he has accepted the decision but as a leader and a fighter, he has “the moral obligation to uphold sportsmanship, truth and fairness in the eyes of the public.”
“I love boxing and I don’t wanna see it dying because of unfair decision and officiating,” he said.