MANILA, Philippines – When Manny Pacquiao steps on the ring for the last time in April next year, he will be thinking about Pia Wurtzbach’s historic 2015 Miss Universe victory.
The Filipino icon on Tuesday hailed Wurtzbach for ending the Philippines’ 42-year title drought in the Miss Universe pageant, saying her feat will serve as his inspiration for his next fight.
“Courage is grace under pressure – this is what Pia showed in the middle of the confusion and controversy that marked her coronation as the new Miss Universe,” Pacquiao told Philboxing.com’s Eddie Alinea, aware of the pageant’s controversial nature that saw host Steve Harvey wrongly announcing Miss Colombia as the winner.
It can be recalled that Wurtzbach vowed to make up for Pacquiao’s loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. last May by winning the world’s most prestigious beauty pageant.
She made good on that promise, and Pacquiao isn’t someone who easily forgets.
"Remember when I lost to Floyd last May, she made a promise to all of us Filipinos that she will avenge that defeat comes the Miss Universe pageant which she just has fulfilled," he continued.
Regardless of who Pacquiao fights next – be it Timothy Bradley or Terence Crawford – he said he is dedicating the bout to Wurtzbach as his way of returning the favor.
"Ipinangako niya yun at tinupad niya. Ang masabi ko lang ay tatandaan ko ang mga yun which I intend to use as an inspiration and additional motivation for me in my next fight," Pacquiao added.
“Kung kaya nga't ipinangangako ko rin sa kanya na iniaalay ko sa kanya at sa mga kababayan natin ang susunod kong laban at pipilitin ko ring ipanalo alang-alang sa bayan (That’s why I also promise to dedicate my next fight to her and to my countryman and that I will do my best to win)." - Dino Maragay