Another great, great day for the Philippines!
Manny Pacquiao’s unanimous decision win against Brandon Rios easily lit up a nation that, for the last two months has been battered by natural disasters and jolting “pork barrel revelations”.
He’s turning 35 by December 17, but following Pacquiao as he got off his corner, shows not an ageing eight-division world boxing champion, but a boxing legend who is on a mission – that of reclaiming the boxing glory he lost during his last two fights as well as bringing cheers and joys to millions of Filipinos back home.
Pacquiao’s victory, his 55th as a professional, also netted him the WBO international welterweight title.
Pacquiao was laser-like focus during his fight against Rios. He pounded his younger opponent with his deadly power punches, combined with his hand speed, that has been one of his greatest assets in his professional boxing career.
And despite all the attention, the accolades and another feather on his cap, Pacquiao’s mind also raced to his fellow Filipinos in Visayas, who, just 16 days ago, were battered by super typhoon Yolanda’s fury.
Gleaning from his brief post-fight quotes, Pacquiao has been showing once more that he’s far more than just a world-class athlete earning from mega-buck deals.
He’s also a government official, a Christian, who gave God the glory after pulling off what he described as “one of his toughest fights”, a public servant and a FIlipino, who made known his intention to help the hundreds of thousands of Yolanda victims in Tacloban, Leyte, among others.
I’m miles away from Tacloban City now, but reading the Associated Press’ brief story that appeared at Spin.ph on how typhoon survivors crammed inside a damaged sports stadium to watch his fight on Sunday from Macau just goes to show how much Pacquiao has been a symbol of hope amidst the country’s series of bouts with natural disasters.
Here are some of the post-fight quotes from Pac-Man himself: