MANILA - The Armed Forces of the Philippines on Monday lauded their comrade, Manny Pacquiao, even after the boxing icon's loss to Cuban boxer Yordenis Ugas in their welterweight showdown in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Pacquiao, an Army reserve officer with lieutenant colonel rank, showed "the true meaning of perseverance against challenges and odds," AFP spokesman Col. Ramon Zagala said in a statement.
"Our 8-division world champion, senator, and brother in the reserve force has nothing more to prove for he has already won the hearts and minds of every Filipino around the world," he said.
He said the boxer-turned-lawmaker, even in defeat, "has inspired and shown our soldiers the value of fighting for your country to the very end."
Pacquiao lost to Ugas on Sunday (Manila time) by unanimous decision. It was Pacman's first fight after a 2-year absence from the ring.
Ugás, who took the fight on just 11 days' notice after Errol Spence Jr. had to withdraw due to an eye injury, made a successful defense of his WBA "super" welterweight title.
Scores were 115-113, 116-112, and 116-112 for the Cuban, who was by far the more accurate boxer in the bout. Ugás maximized his reach advantage, using his jab to great effect and repeatedly clobbering Pacquiao with right hands.