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Filipinos celebrate as Pacquiao avenges loss
Publication Date : 14-04-2014
“Manny is still the eighth wonder of the world,” Fr. Joey Faller said as Filipinos jumped from their seats, raised their arms and burst into cheers after the country’s boxing hero, Manny Pacquiao, regained his WBO welterweight title from American Timothy Bradley Jr. in a unanimous 12-round decision in Las Vegas on Sunday.
“Manny has proven that he is the better fighter. He still has the speed, the great footwork and the tsunami of punches,” said Faller, administrator of the Kamay ni Hesus (Hand of Jesus) shrine in Lucban town, Quezon province.
But he noticed something in the way Pacquiao, who has won world titles in eight boxing divisions, fought Bradley and he did not hesitate to say it.
“What he lacks now is the killer instinct,” Faller said. “He is so compassionate and not the Pacquiao we saw in the past. Probably his being born again Christian mellowed down his aggressiveness.”
But it’s not yet time for Pacquiao, 35, to quit boxing, the priest said.
“There is one unfinished business for him—to fight (Floyd) Mayweather (Jr.) for a one mega ultimate fight of the century,” Faller said, referring to the current World Boxing Council (WBC) welterweight champion, WBC and World Boxing Association (WBA) superwelterweight champion.
That is probably still in the cards, with Pacquiao saying he’s still good for another two years.
Cheers from colleagues
Among those who cheered Pacquiao’s victory over Bradley on Sunday were his colleagues in the House of Representatives.
Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said the Sarangani representative’s reclaiming his welterweight championship belt this late in his career showed that discipline and determination would always trump adversity.
“At 35, [Manny Pacquiao’s] victory over a much younger Bradley (30), who was said to have been even better trained now than in their previous fight, has shown the world that he continues to be the pound-for-pound King of Boxing,” Belmonte said in a statement.
Not so exciting
In the covered court at Bernardo Park in Quezon City, PO1 Conrad Lim did not find the fight too exciting, noting that Pacquiao was in good fighting condition but Bradley was not.
Still, Lim said he was happy that Pacquiao won. “He has proven that he still has [many] years as a fighter in him,” he said.
In the covered court in San Lorenzo village in Makati City, the crowd erupted in cheers every time Pacquiao had Bradley in a corner, raining punches on the American.
Even foreign residents of the village were seen cheering for Pacquiao.
“I’m a massive fan of Pacquiao. I even have posters of him all over my house,” said Marc Zanetta, a British national working at the UK Embassy in Taguig City.
Accompanied by a fellow British citizen, Zanetta said he always made it a point to see Pacquiao’s fights.
“I saw the previous fight (with Bradley). Although I think he won that one, this time he was faster. He was better. He was an experienced boxer and he wasn’t intimidated with Bradley’s antics. I am happy with the results,” Zanetta said.
“He was still slower but this is still exciting,” Alberto Kwong, 70, said, referring to Pacquiao. “He has shown once again that he is a champion.”
Suspense in Tondo
At the Tondo Sports Complex in Manila, the crowd fell silent during the fifth and sixth rounds, which were obviously dominated by Bradley.
“He’s losing,” someone in the crowd said, referring to Pacquiao, who was taking big blows from Bradley. “He should retire.”
But Pacquiao came back in the seventh round with his trademark rapid combinations, staggering Bradley at one point.
And the sports complex exploded in cheers after the score was announced.
Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada had been expected to watch the fight in the sports complex, but did not show up.
Vice Mayor Francisco “Isko” Domagoso joined hundreds of boxing fans at the San Andres Sports Complex and cheered with them after Pacquiao was announced the winner.
“Long live, Manny! You made us Filipinos proud again,” Domagoso later tweeted in Filipino.
More than 2,000 people endured the midday heat at the Navotas City Sports Complex and cheered Pacquiao on as the Filipino pressured his American opponent.
“Yes, that’s it,” they cried as Pacquiao staggered Bradley with a left to the head.
“In their first fight, Manny was cheated,” an old man said after the score was announced. “But this time, [he’s the clear winner].”