MANILA, Philippines – Manny Pacquiao may have lost the fight of the century by a unanimous decision, but he did not lose the admiration of many of his long-time fans in the Philippines.
As early as 8 am on Sunday, May 3, 78-year-old Gelonita Baradillo waited at the Rizal High School oval in Pasig City to watch the bout she could not miss in her lifetime, she said.
In a sea of men roaring every time Pacquiao threw a punch, Baradillo sat calmly, praying for the Filipino boxer, believing he could overpower Floyd Mayweather Jr or even knock him out.
But Baradillo rose from her seat when Mayweather appeared to hit Pacquiao in the groin during the big fight.
“Natakot (ako) nung sinuntok siya sa lower part ng katawan niya (I got scared when he got struck in the lower part of his body),” she said.
According to Baradillo, who also hails from Western Mindanao, she has watched every major fight of Pacquiao. She loves the General Santos City native like a son even if she has not personally met him.
Baradillo found Paquiao kind even in the ring. In her heart, Paquiao won the match, she said.
Mayweather dodged, ran, hugged
Baradillo and other viewers – about 4,000 according to organizers – who trooped to the free-viewing site in Pasig City went home disappointed over the result of the fight. (HIGHLIGHTS: Mayweather vs Pacquiao post-fight press conference)
“Puro ilag, takbo, yakap (ang ginawa ni Mayweather), pero pasok naman mga suntok ni Paquiao. Talagang wala tayong masasabi. Lumaban siya,” 48-year-old Rogelio Alvarez said, reacting to Paquiao’s defeat as he left the free-viewing site.
(Mayweather merely dodged the punches, ran around, and hugged Pacquiao, but Pacquiao’s punches landed. We could not fault him. He fought well.)
“Sa atin, talagang panalo si Paquiao (For us, Paquiao is the winner), Alvarez said. Alvarez came from a family of avid Pacquiao fans. Not even the tragedy in 2006, when his father, Rogelio, died of heart attack after Paquiao’s fight with Eric Morales, didn’t stop him from supporting Pacquiao.
“Magagalit ‘yun, malulungkot ‘yun,” he said when asked how his father would react to the decision. (He would get mad. He would be sad.)
An hour after he lost the match that was 5 years in the making, Paquiao (57-6-2, 38 knockouts) conceded: “I did my best but my best wasn’t good enough.”
But Mayweather (48-0, 26 knockouts) said: “He’s a hell of a fighter, I take my hat off to him.” – Rappler.com
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