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Dynamite punch stuns Philippines

‘A painful defeat felt across the nation’

CALAMITY IN LAS VEGAS Filipino fans at Freedom Park in Marikina City are shocked as they watch the televised fight end with the heavily favored Pacquiao receiving a crushing blow from the bloodied Marquez, known as “El Dinamita.” KEATS LONDON/RICHARD A. REYES

The punch that knocked out national boxing hero Manny Pacquiao left the Philippines shocked.

From the highest corners of government to the man in the street, Pacquiao’s defeat dampened spirits already weighed down in a country dealing with a killer typhoon that left more than 1,000 dead or missing last week.

Sen. Francis Pangilinan summed up the national sentiment. “It hurts,” he said. “This is a painful defeat felt throughout the nation.”

But he said Pacquiao was still and would “always be our nation’s greatest boxing champion. This painful defeat does not lessen in anyway what he has achieved as a boxer, as a Filipino and as a human being. We will always hold him in highest esteem.”

In General Santos City, Pacquiao’s hometown, where the fight was broadcast live in several public stadiums, shocked viewers reacted with stunned silence after their fighter fell in the sixth round before a 16,000-strong crowd at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“We were all silent because we were unsure what happened. He was unconscious for so long,” said businessman Jun Bayonico, 51, who watched the fight live with friends and relatives.

“For so many years, he was our idol. We were saddened by what happened, but maybe this is a sign he should retire. It would have been better if he retired a winner,” he added.

In Quezon City, people strode out of cinemas at Eastwood Mall in Libis, looking like they had been seeing a sad movie.

Before joining what seemed like a funeral procession, the crowd stayed for some 30 minutes after the sixth round. Unable to accept that their hero had been defeated, they sat there, waiting for word from Pacquiao himself.

The 39-year-old Juan Miguel “El Dinamita” Marquez of Mexico sent down Pacquiao, 33, face first to the canvas with a right hand with one second left of the round to win their welterweight fight—their fourth meeting—on Saturday (Sunday in Manila).

The end came too soon, unexpected, a group from Laguna told the Inquirer.

“What happened?” one from the group said, apparently trying to understand what had just happened.

Aquino missed it

After Pacquiao regained consciousness, the crowd heaved a sigh of relief. That was their only consolation, seeing their idol valiantly standing up after being knocked out cold, they said.

President Aquino missed the fight because he was attending to the search for people still missing five days after Typhoon “Pablo” struck Mindanao, Central Visayas and Palawan.

But presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said that despite the defeat, the country would not turn its back on the superstar fighter, who has won world titles in an unprecedented eight weight divisions.

“Nothing will change. The people of the Philippines will continue to support Manny. We join them in praying for the return of his strength and determination,” Lacierda said in a statement.

Interior Secretary Mar Roxas shared many Filipinos’ sentiments. “It’s heartbreaking, and as a sportsman, I share the sadness of every Filipino.”

But Pacquiao, he said, is “still our champion. We’re proud that we have Manny.”

Vice President Jejomar Binay also quickly declared his confidence that Pacquiao, who has parlayed his boxing championships into a show biz career and election to the House of Representatives, would surely make a comeback.

“I am certain that Manny will rise from this adversity a better and stronger person,” Binay said in a statement.

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte said that even in defeat, Pacquiao was still an inspiration to Filipinos.

Lucky punch

“He is still the people’s champ and just as he has always been the symbol of Filipino resiliency, I am certain he can rise above this setback and still inspire our own people, especially those in the south who are slowly picking themselves up after the very recent devastation brought on by Typhoon Pablo,” Belmonte said.

Members of the House of Representatives defended their fallen colleague, saying Marquez just got in a “lucky punch.”

“A lucky punch by Juan Manuel Marquez during the dying seconds of the sixth round when the Filipino boxing icon was leading on the judges’ scorecards cannot obliterate the illustrious boxing career of Manny Pacquiao,” Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman said in a statement.

Cibac Rep. Sherwin Tugna said Marquez defeated Pacquiao through a combination of “preparation and luck.”

But Pacquiao need not retire because he got knocked out, he said.

“He just needs to focus solely on public service and boxing,” he said.

Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, who watched the fight at San Andres Sports Complex, said the Manila city government would continue supporting Pacquiao despite the defeat.

“He had given honor not just himself and his family but also to our country,” Lim said. “He needs to rest. I guess there will be a fifth fight because it was a lucky punch.”

In Navotas City, some people who watched the fight in the city’s sports complex felt Pacquiao was cheated because Marquez threw the punch in the final second of the round.

“That felt quite wrong. It was already the final second of the round and Marquez managed to sneak a full punch in,” one protested, speaking in Filipino.

Albay Gov. Joey Salceda, in a posting on Facebook, said it was “probably the last fight [of Pacquiao that the people of the province] will see him.” And then something intriguing: “Goodbye Pacman 2016.”—Reports from Michael Lim Ubac, TJ Burgonio, Leila Salaverria, Nathaniel R. Melican, Christine O. Avendaño, Erika Sauler in Manila; Delfin Mallari Jr., Juan Escandor, Maricar Cinco, Madonna Virola and Romulo Ponte, Inquirer Southern Luzon and AFP

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Tags: Boxing , Juan Miguel “El Dinamita” Marquez , Manny Pacquiao , Philippines , Sports

  • martingo18

    I have been watching boxing for over 30 years, and what I seen last Saturday was nothing less than two great boxers, with great skills in the ring, who both where determine to knock the other one out.
    The better man that evening was the one who clearly won JUAN MANUEL MARQUEZ.

    Now as for Manny, this is the second lost, I’ve seen, he encountered first by Eric Morales, now by JMM. All the other opponents (Margarito, Ricky Hatton, Cotto, De la Hoya (to old) etc..) he faced for some reason had been knock out, before facing Manny, I don’t why, lets just say that was some kind of great money strategy by Bob Arum. I think in the last eight years Many hasn’t fought anyone worth fighting other than Juan Manuel Marquez. If he gets back in the ring with JMM he will be faced with the same outcome. ITS OVER JUST LIKE ALL THE REST OF THEM!!      

  • jojo webmail

    thanks manny.. now my son is ashamed to go to school, his mexican classmates make fun of him.

  • jeetkaido

    Lucky punch ba tawag sa dalawang beses ma knock out? Dapat mag retire ka na  Pacman at huwag ng dagdagan ang alog sa ulo mo, baka magaya mo sakit ni Ali. Di mo na kayang ubosin    kinita mo sa boxing. At nasa history ka na kilalang magaling sa boxing  hindi sa politica at swobiz. Huwag ka ng magpauto sa mga nakapaligid sa yo Manny, iiwanan ka ring mga yan pag laos ka na. Ngayon pa lang mararamdaman mo na yan.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004487915646 Rice Carillo

    Bakit karamihan sa mga Pinoy pikon at hindi matanggap ang pag katalo…. kesyo lucky punch daw, kesyo nag steroids daw… kesyo kesyo kesyo… 

    Tanggapin nyo na kasi ang katotohanan… walang kaduda duda natalo siya , hindi lang natalo… bagsak at tulog pa… 

  • randyaltarejos


  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VS5EYSP4FPOTVQCJZ24NRE6Z2M Edgardo Mendoza


  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VS5EYSP4FPOTVQCJZ24NRE6Z2M Edgardo Mendoza


  • http://profile.yahoo.com/SPDAZIXLRDOGCON42ETFG4AG3A TonTon

    Pacman’s legacy is already written in boxing’s history books. One of the greatest warriors ever. He belongs to the upper echelon of boxing’s greatest fighters.

    In any sport, losing is inevitable! I think Manny knows that, and he is man enough to accept his defeat. The loss, might be a sign that Manny has entered the twilight of his career.

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