MANILA, Philippines — Most residents of Barangay San Antonio in Pasig City, who saw the fight of boxer Manny Pacquiao with American Timothy Bradley on Sunday noon, were surprised and disappointed after it was announced that the Filipino champion was defeated.
“Luto (Rigged),” was the most common word that residents blurted out as they walked out of the barangay (village) hall with the look of disappointment in their faces. The word “luto” in Filipino parlance means that the result of the fight was rigged and was even pre-arranged.
“Pacman never loses. It’s obvious; he hurt the American really bad,” Rosemarie Labandero, a barangay health worker, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer. But nonetheless, she said she would be happy to see a rematch of Bradley and Pacquiao.
In San Antonio’s barangay hall, around 200 residents, some with children in tow, came early Sunday morning to watch the free screening of the bout, which was normally shown in cinemas at prices ranging from P500 to P700.
Those who did not bring their own monobloc chairs sat on the floor while some stood.
“Even the kids here could not believe the other guy won,” Rodger Gonzaga, a retired government employee, said in jest.
Gonzaga believed that Pacquiao’s loss, which was the first in the last seven years, was arranged mainly for business’ sake.
“By the looks of it, business and profit are still behind boxing. Apart from Floyd Mayweather, Pacquiao has no one to fight with. Losing against Bradley meant good business for them,” Gonzaga said, sharing his wild theory.
The first few rounds of the fight amused the San Antonio fans. The crowd roared in laughter and applause whenever Pacquiao showed uppercut and a series of combination.
Edgar Isip, a 55-year-old resident said what made it more amusing was Bradley’s competitive response to the Filipino boxer’s moves.
“But if Manny was more serious in winning, he would have finished Bradley with a KO,” he said.