Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao remained grateful even after suffering a shocking loss to Cuba's Yordenis Ugás in their welterweight bout in Las Vegas on Saturday night (Sunday in Manila).
Pacquiao was widely expected to defeat Ugás, who was a late replacement for Errol Spence Jr. after the American was diagnosed with a torn retina in his left eye.
Yet Ugás pulled off the great upset, outboxing Pacquiao for 12 rounds and earning a clear unanimous decision. He made a successful defense of the WBA "super" welterweight belt, a title given to him by the sanctioning body in January after Pacquiao was demoted due to inactivity.
On Instagram, Pacquiao offered no updates on his future plans, be it in the boxing ring or in the political arena.
But he expressed his gratitude to God, "for giving me the strength to fight," and to his family "for always standing beside me."
He also thanked the fans worldwide who watched the bout, and the Filipinos for their support. The audience at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas had been overwhelmingly in favor of Pacquiao, chanting his name even as he acknowledged defeat in the post-fight interview.
"I'm so proud to represent my country," said Pacquiao. "I'm sorry I could not give you a win, but I did my very best. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. God bless you all."
Pacquiao also commended Ugás, saying: "Although I hoped for a different outcome, I wish him the best."
The ring icon, the only boxer to win championships in eight different weight divisions, hinted at retirement after the bout.
He also said afterward that he will make a formal announcement regarding his political plans after a month. The "Pacman" was asked after the bout if he intends to run for the presidency but made no firm commitment.
"I know that I'm facing a big problem and more difficult works than boxing, but I want to help the people. I want to help them," he also said.