HOLLYWOOD—The tie that binds Manny Pacquiao and Buboy Fernandez is unbreakable.
They are that close that when Pacquiao regained consciousness after getting knocked out cold by Juan Manuel Marquez in the sixth round, the first words he uttered were: “Boy, nasaan ka (where are you?).”
Fernandez, Pacquiao’s childhood buddy in General Santos City, was right next to him, holding his head inches above the canvas where had fallen like a log.
Unable to answer, Fernandez took out Pacquiao’s mouthpiece to clear the air passage. He was glad that his friend reacted.
“Anong nangyari? Tapos na ba ang laban? (What happened? Is the fight over?)” Pacquiao asked Fernandez, who replied: “Oo, brod, nasingitan tayo (Yes, brod, we lost it).
“I knew then that he’s going to be okay, especially when I asked him to move his feet and he did.”
Ignoring the ring doctors who were attending to Pacquiao, Fernandez helped his friend to his stool.
Fernandez, who serves as Pacquiao’s assistant trainer, offered no excuses to the sudden turn of events as Pacquiao.
“Napuruhan talaga (He got hit by a solid punch),” said Fernandez.
Pacquiao said the knockout wouldn’t have happened had he not neglected a move they practiced at Wild Card Gym.
“He (Pacquiao) doesn’t want me to move to the right, while he mastered the left movements,” said Fernandez. “When he got knocked down, I told him ‘Don’t do that brod. Just play your game.’”