After the Internet celebrated the birthday of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on Tuesday (July 9), the 93-year-old had another visitor on Thursday.
Boxing great Manny Pacquiao, who has a fight with hard-hitting World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse on Sunday at the Axiata Arena Bukit Jalil in Kuala Lumpur, surprised Dr Mahathir with a birthday cake and a present for him.
They were meeting for a courtesy call with the Malaysian premier at the Perdana Leadership Foundation Complex, Bernama reported.
Pacquiao, who is also a Philippine senator popular for his humanitarian efforts, gave Dr Mahathir a pair of yellow boxing gloves as a present.
They both spent half an hour in a closed-door meeting and “Pacman” said that the courtesy call was to thank (Dr Mahathir) for the Malaysian government’s support for the (boxing) event this Sunday and also to build a good relationship with the prime minister.
He admitted to admiring Dr Mahathir, whom he described as a good man and a good leader of Malaysia.
Pacquiao also said that he had invited Dr Mahathir to watch the fight alongside Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, of which Dr Mahathir told him that he would “try his best to fulfill the invitation”.
Pacquiao said: “I am so ready for the fight and I would like to invite the Malaysian people to watch it on Sunday.
“It is going to be a good fight which will be attended by thousands of boxing fans. Of course it is an an honour and privilege to have the fight here in Malaysia.”
Pacquiao, who broke pay-per-view records with his historic bout with Floyd Mayweather, will have his fight streamed on ESPN+, with the event set to start at 9pm.