Hot day, lukewarm welcome | Inquirer Sports

Hot day, lukewarm welcome

If the welcome was lukewarm, blame it on the weather.


It was sizzling hot when Manny Pacquiao boarded a tarpaulin-covered float for a motorcade in Metro Manila during the morning rush hour yesterday shortly after his arrival from the final match in Las Vegas of his spectacular career.


The champ waved to pockets of people on the road—vendors and office workers who seemed more intent on heading to their offices than showing appreciation for his latest triumph against Timothy Bradley on Saturday.

Some people waved back at Pacquiao, who is running for a Senate seat in the elections next month. But they weren’t as enthusiastic or excited as the people who had lined the routes on Pacquiao’s return from previous triumphs, and even defeats.

After having breakfast at Dusit Thani Makati, the People’s Champ was guided to the small float covered by tarpaulins of his third fight with Bradley. He was then taken to a fast-moving motorcade around Makati, Manila and Quezon City.

Some motorists, who were forced to stop to give way to Pacquiao’s motorcade, went out of their vehicles to wave at Pacquiao and snap a picture of him with their cell phones.

Despite the heat, Pacquiao did not stop waving and greeting people along Ayala Avenue, Buendia, Taft Avenue, Quezon Avenue and even Edsa.

At a traffic buildup at the corner of Edsa and Kamuning in Quezon City, Pacquiao came down from the float and took his car for nearby Novotel Hotel at Araneta Center.


Pacquiao arrived with his family around 5 a.m. at Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 on a Philippine Airlines flight from Los Angeles.

At a brief press conference at the arrival lobby, he indicated that his announced retirement might not really be final after all.

He said his family had long wanted him to hang up his gloves and was “probably” happy with his decision.

When asked if he would come out of retirement for a rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr., Pacquiao answered in mixed English and Filipino: “I don’t know. It is hard to comment about that. I am retired. I am happy. We really don’t know because if I’m retired and enjoying retirement, I guess it won’t happen.”

In the same breath, he said he still had a few punches left in him and was not retiring because of his age (38).

The mention of the possibility of his competing in the Olympics in Brazil this summer perked up Pacquiao. “I am excited about that,” he said. “I’ll consider it if they’ll allow me. Maybe if there’s no conflict. Ever since I started boxing, it has been my dream to join the Olympics.”

The crowd that had gathered at the corner of Taft and United Nations Avenues certainly wants Pacquiao to go on fighting.

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Chants of “Manny, Manny” erupted at the corner of Taft and UN avenues as Pacquiao’s motorcade whizzed by. Some people had gathered there as early as 7 a.m. for a welcome reminiscent of Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach’s recent victory parade.

Driver Rodel Coloma, 44, who has followed Pacquiao’s sterling career, said, “It’s sad to hear he has retired. One more fight. One more.”

Vendor Azareel Javier, who had to look for a vantage spot to get a glimpse of her boxing idol, said: “He won the last time, so why quit? We don’t want him to retire, but I’m not sure if I’ll vote for him in the Senate.”

TAGS: Boxing, Las Vegas, Manny Pacquiao, Metro Manila, Pacquiao

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