(CNN) -- Manny Pacquiao decisively defeated Joshua Clottey in Texas on Saturday night to retain his WBO welterweight title in his last fight before resuming his political career.
The Filipino fighter, known affectionately as "Pacman" by his fans and in his country, won by unanimous decision in a fight that was organized after the breakdown in talks over his planned showdown with Floyd Mayweather Junior.
Two judges scored the fight 119-109 for Pacquiao, while a third scored it 120-108.
The 31-year-old, who will now take a break from boxing to contest local elections in May, has won 12 straight bouts since losing to Erik Morales in March 2005.
Pacquiao had targeted a quick knockout at the Cowboys Stadium, the home of the Dallas Cowboys NFL team in Arlington.
But Clottey, a New York-based Ghanaian, managed to last the full 12 rounds in front of a crowd of more than 50,000 people.
Pacquiao took the early initiative and landed several heavy blows, but the dogged Clottey managed to hang on and maintain his record of having never been stopped despite suffering his fourth defeat in 39 bouts.
Pacquiao, who began his career as a 112-pound flyweight, has won world titles at six different weights and boasts a 50-3-2 record with 28 knockouts.
The fight attracted worldwide attention, particularly back in the Philippines where Pacquiao is a national hero.
Pacquiao was originally slated to be taking on American Mayweather in what was billed as the richest fight in boxing history, but a row over dope testing led to negotiations be called off.
The Clottey fight was arranged in its place, but many expect Pacquiao to take on the unbeaten Mayweather later in the year.
But first Pacquiao will seek to win office in the congressional seat of Saranggani province against businessman Roy Chiongbian in May.
"I will decide who to fight next after the elections," Pacquiao said at ringside after Saturday's victory.
The May 10 elections come nine days after Mayweather takes on Shane Mosley in Las Vegas.