Filipinos in Shock Over Manny’s Loss
Written by : CAMILLE LOPEZ, WILLIAM DEPASUPIL AND JAIME PILAPIL
TIMOTHY Bradley shocked the world with his unexpected win over boxing champion and Sarangani Rep. Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao but for Filipinos, it was an undeserved one.
From the chaotic slums to the swanky sports bars of Manila, Filipinos looked on in horror as Bradley ended Pacquiao’s 15-fight winning streak and seized his World Boxing Organization welterweight title.
Pacquiao fell to 54-4-2 with 38 wins inside the distance, suffering his first defeat since he dropped a 12-round unanimous decision to Erik Morales in March 2005.
“This is clearly highway robbery,” Sen. Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, who was at ringside in Las Vegas, told local radio in Manila by phone. “Pacquiao clearly had more hits.”
For 37-year-old laborer Raphael Raboy, the loss meant losing a few hundred pesos on a bet, though he shared Estrada’s sentiments.
“He is still our champion,” Raboy told Agence France-Presse, as he and his friends quietly left a park in suburban Marikina district east of Manila where a live telecast of the fight was beamed on satellite television for free.
The crowd was shocked into silence, before erupting into boos and flashing the thumbs down to show their displeasure.
President Benigno Aquino 3rd sought to console the public, stressing that Pacquiao remained a treasured sporting icon despite the loss.
“Manny Pacquiao failed to defend the WBO welterweight belt against Timothy Bradley, but the Filipino people’s support for their champion remains strong as ever,” Aquino spokesman Abigail Valte said in a statement.
“Manny is still our one and only people’s champ; and we are proud of him.”
Sunday’s bout was the first time that Pacquiao’s wife Jinkee and his children were at ringside to cheer him on.
Boxing analysts predicted an overwhelming victory for Pacquiao who won at least seven of the 12 bouts against Bradley. The split decision disappointed everyone, including the officers and men of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), where Pacquiao is a lieutenant colonel in the Army reserve force.
AFP chief Gen. Jessie Dellosa said on Sunday that soldiers were frustrated judging on their facial expressions after Bradley was declared as the new king of the welterweight division.
“I saw that they were somewhat frustrated because when the winner was announced, I saw it [frustration] on the faces of the soldiers,” Dellosa said.
But even in defeat, he added, Pacquiao has the spirit of a warrior and continues to be a source of inspiration for soldiers for his courage.
Dellosa added that the AFP would still consider honoring Pacquiao when he returns home, just like it did in the past.
Famous Hollywood celebrities such as actor/singer Justin Timberlake, Popstar Miley Cyrus and rapper Busta Rhymes also expressed their disappointment through the microblogging site, Twitter.
Timberlake tweeted: “I cannot believe what I just saw… Please tell me they read that decision wrong… #Rigged.”
Cyrus shouted out: “Yo manny! you just gotta remember what my daddy @billyraycyrusalways told me “when you knock em out, you dont need no judge!”
Rhymes, for his part, shouted out to Bradley: “BRADLEY U CAN’T SLEEP 2NIGHT THE FEEDBACK IS OVERWHELMING ISN’T IT? THE WORLD KNOWS U LOST. DO THE RIGHT THING & GIVE THAT BELT 2 PACMAN!!!”
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