Ecija fans thought Thai loser was Pacquiao
BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – Boxing fans in the Science City of Muñoz in Nueva Ecija province became anxious while watching what turned out to be the undercard fight of the Manny Pacquiao-Chris Algieri match, when they saw Thai boxer Kwanpichit Onesongchaigym taking a beating from China’s Zou Shiming.
It took sometime for them to realize Onesongchaigym, who bore a striking resemblance to Pacquiao, was not their idol, and many gave out a hearty laugh.
Like in many parts of the country, the city was in a standstill on Sunday. Market vendors and tricycle drivers paused to watch the delayed television broadcasts on television sets at barber shops or sari-sari stores.
Many lamented that no one sponsored a live broadcast this time. Pacquiao’s previous matches had been screened at the local gymnasium.
But watching American challenger Algieri learn true boxing the hard way from the veteran Pacquiao made up for that disappointment, fight fans said.
Rodolfo Herbas, 52, library aide in a university in Muñoz, said the turnout of this match set the stage for the match everyone has long wanted to see – Pacquiao facing American Floyd Mayweather Jr.
“We are happy about his win. He did our country proud,” Herbas said.
In Ilagan City in Isabela province, free snacks made Pacquiao’s victory sweeter for fans.
“We were happy about Pacquiao’s victory, which was made more satisfactory by the free snacks that came earlier,” said driver Roy Gangan.
Gangan and about 3,000 residents watched a live feed of the Pacquiao-Algieri fight at the provincial amphitheater.
Pancit (noodles) and bottled juice were distributed to viewers before the match started.
The streets were empty after drivers of tricycles and jeepneys parked at the capitol compound to watch.
“This is irritating. As if the world had stopped due to Pacquiao’s fight. Almost all drivers probably watched the bout,” said commuter Jo Lucero.
About 5,000 others watched separate live broadcast screened at the Ilagan Community Center and at the city hall.
In the cities of Cauayan and Santiago and Roxas town, about 10,000 people watched live broadcasts sponsored by their respective local governments and sponsors.
In Baguio City, a mall that screened Pacquiao’s previous fights, had not broadcast the live feed due to the absence of a sponsor, which disappointed people who had no access to television or to restaurants that offered to show the fight for a fee.