pia alonzo wurtzbach*While the world is still recovering from host Steve Harvey announcing the wrong winner at Miss Universe 2015, Filipino boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao is praising pageant winner Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach for remaining courageous in the stressful moment, and proclaiming her win avenges his loss against Floyd Mayweather.

Wurtzbach represented the Philippines in the Miss Universe 2015 event, held on December 20 in Las Vegas. At the end of the show, host Steve Harvey announced Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutiérrez as the winner. However, after Gutiérrez’s crowning, Harvey stated that he had misread the results and that Wurtzbach was the actual winner. Miss Universe 2014 Paulina Vega then handed Gutiérrez’s crown over to Wurtzbach.

Pacquiao hailed Pia for winning the beauty pageant and bringing back to the Philippines the Miss Universe crown.

“Courage is grace under pressure,” Pacquiao told Philboxing.com. “This is what Pia showed in the middle of the confusion and controversy that marked her coronation as the new Miss Universe.”

As it turns out, after Mayweather beat Pacquiao by unanimous decision on May 2, Wurtzbach vowed to avenge the loss by becoming Miss Universe, and she certainly made good on her promise. Manny said Wurtzbach’s victory will inspire him in his next fight.

“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 said. “I intend to use [that] as an inspiration and additional motivation for me in my next fight.”

The eight-division world champion will next step into the ring April 9 but has yet to name his opponent.

As Wurtzbach mentioned during the question and answer portion of the pageant, “To be a Miss Universe is both an honor and responsibility.”

Part of her responsibility as title holder will be to travel around the world to partake on different charitable activities and raise awareness about the most pressing global issues. Her journey as Miss Universe begins with a media tour kick off in New York City. Her prize package also includes the opportunity to enhance her personal career through casting opportunities, and various industry events.

Pia will also receive a year-long salary as Miss Universe, luxury accommodations in a New York City apartment for the duration of her reign, including living expenses. One-year scholarship from the New York Film Academy College of Visual Performing Arts, and of course, a new custom diamond tiara. Click here to review the complete Miss Universe 2015 prize package.