LAS VEGAS—He’ll be back. That’s the assurance Manny Pacquiao gave to his fans and countrymen following a harrowing knockout loss to Mexican nemesis Juan Manuel Marquez Saturday night.
The statement sent to Filipino sportswriters past midnight here reads:
“First and foremost I would like to thank God for keeping Juan Manuel Marquez and me safe during our fight on Saturday night. I want to congratulate Juan Manuel. I have no excuses. It was a good fight and he deserved the victory. I think boxing fans who watched us were winners, too.
“To all my fans, I would like to thank you for your prayers and assure you that I am fine. I am looking forward to a nice rest and then I will be back to fight.
“On behalf of Jinkee and our family we would like to wish everyone a joyous Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.”
Following the savage knockout that matched his two-round demolition of Briton Ricky Hatton in May 2009, Pacquiao made a precautionary visit to University Medical Center, according to his adviser Michael Koncz.
“Manny was given a CT scan and the results were negative,” added Koncz. “We were in and out in just over an hour and Manny was in excellent spirits.”
After getting the medical clearance, Pacquiao returned to his penthouse suite in the hotel for dinner.
They then viewed his fourth fight against Marquez.
As the DVD played, Pacquiao announced: “Spoiler alert. I don’t think you are going to like how this ends!”
In a consensus Fight of the Year candidate, Pacquiao was ahead on all scorecards, 47-46, when he was knocked out cold by Marquez with a right straight to the jaw with just a second left in the sixth round.
The loss, of course, was painful.
But as far as Pacquiao is concerned, what happened was the will of God.