MANILA, Philippines – Filipino boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao sent his congratulations to compatriot Nonito "The Filipino Flash" Donaire, Jr., who rose to champion status after dethroning Mexican foe Fernando Montiel Saturday night (Sunday morning in Manila).
"To Donaire, sa pagkapanalo, congrats ha! Salamat at nanalo ka na naman ulit. Nakapagbigay ka naman ng karangalan sa ating bansa," Pacquiao said of Donaire.
The 28-year-old Donaire is seen to be next in line with Pacquiao after a shocking 2nd round stoppage in their bantamweight bout.
The "Filipino Flash" now has an improved record of 26-1 with 18 knockout wins (KO) and hold the bantamweight titles from the World Boxing Organization and the World Boxing Council.
Pacquiao said Donaire can surely follow his footsteps as long as he keeps persevering while keeping his feet on the ground
"Keep up the good work and don't forget to pray... Huwag makalimot," he said.
Pacquiao, who flew from Los Angeles, California, disclosed that he had planned to surprise Donaire by watching the fight at the ringside.
However, due to bad weather, the flight got delayed causing him to miss Donaire's moment.
Pacquiao said he and wife Jinkee were just about to enter the Mandalay Resorts Hotel when the news broke out about Donaire's victory. – With a report from Dyan Castillejo, ABS-CBN News