The Philippines yesterday cheered Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao for his win over American fighter Adrien Broner, his first since his 40th birthday last month.
The senator outpointed Broner throughout the 12-round fight in Las Vegas, winning by a unanimous decision to retain his World Boxing Association’s welterweight title.
Thousands of Filipinos screamed and jumped every time Pacquiao scored against Broner as they trooped to public parks and gyms where free live viewings of the bout were sponsored by local officials.
Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo hailed Pacquiao for bringing honour to the country and uniting Filipinos worldwide “with his display of athleticism, power and Filipino pride.”
“While 11 years older than his opponent, the 40-year-old ‘Pambansang Kamao’ (national fighter) displayed his vintage form just like in his heyday and dominated Broner, who went back-pedalling, in full twelve rounds of battle,” he added.
Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin lashed out at the analysts and critics who suggested it was time for Pacquiao to retire after he turned 40 in December.
“I told you. The eternal hero. The purest example of pure fighter,” Locsin tweeted after the fight. “I will slap anyone who suggests again he retired.”
“Fighters never retire; fighting is their oxygen; they accept even permanent damage and blistering defeat as badges of honour,” he added. “Fight, Manny, for country.”
The judges scored the fight 117-11, 116-112 and 116-112, giving Pacquiao his 61st win in 70 professional fights.
Fans of Philippine boxing champion Manny Pacquiao cheer as they watch the WBA welterweight world
title boxing match between Manny Pacquiao and US boxer Adrien Broner, on a screen in a basketball court in Manila, yesterday.
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