Filipino professional boxer Manny Pacquiao has said that he views the coronation of Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, who represented the Philippines in the Miss Universe 2015 event, avenged his defeat in the fight with Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas in May.
"Remember, when I lost to Floyd last May, she made a promise to all of us Filipinos that she will avenge that defeat come the Miss Universe pageant, which she just has fulfilled," Pacquiao told Philstar.com, referring to his defeat by Mayweather, a five-division world champion.
He added that he will dedicate his next fight to the 26-year-old Wurtzbach: "I intend to use [her win] as an inspiration and additional motivation for me in my next fight," the outspoken Christian fighter said. "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."
Although Wurtzbach won the beauty pageant, which was held on December 20 in Las Vegas, host Steve Harvey mistakenly announced Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutiérrez as the winner. Speaking to the news outlet, Pacquiao praised Wurtzbach for her grace and humility.
"Courage is grace under pressure," Pacquiao said."This is what Pia showed in the middle of the confusion and controversy that marked her coronation as the new Miss Universe."
"Words can't describe how grateful I am for this," Wurtzbach wrote on Facebook following the win. "Now, I finally got the best Christmas gift ever - and not just for me, for my country. I'd like to say thank you to everyone who believed in my potential and those who supported me from the beginning. To Ariadna, you are an amazing woman and we are now bonded together forever by a unique experience."
As reported by the Gospel Herald, Pacquiao announced in October he plans to retire next year so he can focus on his political career, revealing he plans to run for a seat in the Senate in 2016.
"Vote for candidates who are competent and with a good heart. The future of this country depends on the kind of leaders we choose," Pacquiao said. "You should be proud of me as your congressman. I don't steal government money, in fact, I'm spending my own resources to help you. I neither sell my principle nor my vote in Congress."
Speaking to ESPN, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum revealed that Pacquiao's last fight will be April 9th.
"We talked very seriously, and he said, 'Bob, hopefully, by the middle of May I will have been elected senator in the Philippines, and at that point I cannot engage in boxing because I need to focus on the senate and I have to be in attendance'...Manny told me this fight on April 9 will be his last fight," Arum said.
He added, "There are hundreds of congressmen, but if he wins the Senate seat he has to be there to do the work. They do the real work in the Senate in the Philippines, not just make a lot of [expletive] speeches like they do in the Congress...It's a real job, and if Manny is serious about wanting to be president, these six years in the Senate would be like an audition, and for him to show his people that he really is a serious politician."