KUALA LUMPUR - President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday said he wants Senator Manny Pacquiao to retire from boxing after claiming the World Boxing Association welterweight belt from Argentine boxer Lucas Matthysse here.
The 39-year-old Filipino legend stunned Matthysse with a seventh-round knockout.
Duterte, who watched the fight at Kuala Lumpur's Axiata Arena, said he wants Pacquio to retire.
"I'd like to see my friend rest on his laurels at this time and enjoy life," the President said.
"He (Pacquiao) has so much money already, no problem," the President quipped.
Duterte added that he will take inspiration from Pacquiao's triumph when he holds a dialogue with Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.
"I have no regrets that I came earlier to watch the fight. It's a good one, it's the first time that I have traveled outside the Philippines just to see him fight," he told reporters.
Mahathir also watched the fight, which he said marked a "historic day for Malaysia."
Pacquiao, for his part, thanked the 2 world leaders for their presence at his fight.
"Mga Pilipino, maraming-maraming salamat, lalo na sa ating mahal na Pangulo," Pacquiao said in an interview with ABS-CBN News.
(To the Filipinos, thank you very much, especially to our President.)
"We have a good President... and thank you, Mr. President for being our president. And also the Prime Minister, Mahathir, thank you so much to all your support," he added.
Pacquiao's win, his first inside the distance since 2009, improves the 8-division world champion's record to 60-7-2.
It was also his 60th win in a 23-year career.
With reports from Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News; Reuters