MANILA, Philippines -- Top Philippine officials on Sunday cheered boxing star Nonito Donaire for his knock-out victory over Mexico's Jorge Arce, saying it showed the country could overcome any adversity.
Donaire's victory late Saturday in the United States to retain the World Boxing Organization super bantamweight crown came following a massive typhoon disaster in the Philippines and heartbreaking defeats in international sports.
President Benigno Aquino III's spokeswoman Abigal Valte said the Filipino American's win in Houston, Texas, "showed the entire world the strength and resilience of the Filipino."
"This... shows our people we can face and defeat any challenge that confronts us. Whatever challenge, we will join together for the good of the nation," she said in a statement.
Vice President Jejomar Binay also praised Donaire, saying "he will bring pride to Filipinos and to the nation for many years to come."
Donaire, 30, had earlier been quoted as vowing to beat Arce so he could lift the country's spirits following the shock defeat of national boxing hero Manny Pacquiao to Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez on December 8.
He also cited the country's elimination in the AFF Suzuki Cup football semi-finals on December 12.
The Philippines is currently grappling with the massive damage left by Typhoon Bopha that hit the country earlier this month, wiping out whole towns and leaving over a thousand dead and more than 800 missing.
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