SECRETARY Bong Go had retired boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. on the retreat during his very first visit to the country last week.
The 41-year-old Mayweather was quick to apologize to President Duterte’s special assistant after his entourage showed up late in their scheduled meeting in Davao.
Go was made to wait for almost four hours by Mayweather and ‘The Money Team (TMT) after arriving in the meet-up place at around 3 a.m. of Friday.
The American fighter, who defeated fellow great Manny Pacquiao in the riches fight in boxing history three years ago, was accompanied by former Ilocos Sur Gov. Chavit Singson, who generously lent his private jet to Mayweather and his team for the trip to Davao.
“Alas onse pa lang ng gabi naghihintay na kami doon. Nagsara na nga yung restaurant,” Go recalled to SPIN.ph of his meeting with Floyd Jr. in between the Alaska-TnT Katropa PBA Commissioner’s Cup game Sunday night at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
“Dumating sila around 3 a.m. na yata.”
Jet lag has gotten the better of Mayweather by then after arriving in the country in the wee hours of Tuesday and then proceeded for an overnight stay in El Nido, Palawan, before returning to Manila the following day where he and his companions went shopping in some of the high-end malls around the metropolis.
But he immediately said sorry to the Cabinet secretary after being introduced formally and exchanging handshakes.
“I’m sorry that I was really late. I have to rest a little bit, you know, because of the time difference (here),” said Mayweather, who came in an all-black Adidas tracksuit, in the video provided by Go’s staff.
But true to the Filipino hospitality, Go didn’t mind the delay and instead, welcomed Mayweather and his team to Davao with open arms.
“Thank you for visiting Davao. Nice to see you here,” said the 43-year-old Go.
Mayweather and his team, hosted in their Philippine visit by Frontrow International, also personally planned to have a courtesy call on President Duterte.
"Kaso nasa Marawi si Presidente that time kaya hindi nagtugma sa schedule," Go said.
Go went on and tendered a sumptuous early breakfast for Mayweather and Co., who spent the rest of the day frolicking at the paradise-haven Pearl Farm Beach resort.
Of course, Go didn’t let Mayweather off the hook without having a selfie with the unbeaten five-division world champion.
The two also had photo in a striking pose, although Go said he’s not really into boxing.
“Basketball lang tayo,” he said in between laughs when asked if he tried to have some boxing lessons from the former Olympic bronze medalist.
Go said he could have asked Mayweather to play some hoops, although his busy schedule and that of his visitor wouldn’t permit it.
“Kung si Manny (Pacquiao) nga hindi sila nagkita, e,” said the cabinet official.
Mayweather and his team already left the country last Saturday bound for a few days of visit to Japan before returning to the U.S.
But the Las Vegas native vowed to visit the Philippines again.
“Of course the hospitality, so many great people, they take care of me and my staff. We’re happy, we look forward of coming back to the Philippines just to embrace the people and show the same love that they gave us,” were Mayweather’s parting words.