MANILA, Philippines -- As an arena filled mostly with his fans chanted his name, Filipino boxing icon Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao expressed his apologies.
He had lost in shocking fashion to Cuba's Yordenis Ugás in their welterweight fight in Las Vegas, in the process failing to recapture the WBA championship. Pacquiao was never able to impose his will, and for all his activity -- he threw 815 punches -- he was inefficient, landing only 130 of them.
Afterwards he made no complaints about the decision, as judges saw the bout 115-113, 116-112, 116-112 in favor of Ugás. He congratulated the Cuban, admitting that he was "tough."
"That's boxing," said Pacquiao. "Let's face another tomorrow again, and plan our future."
The fans at the T-Mobile Arena had rallied behind Pacquiao during the bout, chanting "Manny, Manny, Manny" to encourage him as Ugás frustrated him with his defense.
When the bout was over, they continued to chant his name, particularly when the subject of his boxing future came up. Pacquiao has hinted at retirement before and after the loss, he said he wanted to "rest first and relax" before making a decision.
"I'm so thankful to the fans, for coming here to witness the fight," said Pacquiao. "I'm really, really appreciative of your effort to come here, in spite of the pandemic. You have time to watch life."
"I'm sorry that we lost tonight, but you know, I did my best," he added. "I apologize."
He may not have made a definitive announcement about his next career move, but Pacquiao still left what may have been a farewell message to the fans.
"I really appreciate your effort to come here," Pacquiao said. "I hope that in my more than 20 years in boxing, I (gave) you enjoyment and happiness in my career."
"I congratulate my opponent, Yordenis Ugas, (for) making (it) tough tonight, and for winning tonight. That's boxing," he added.