GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/06 May) – The city government has allotted some P300,000 for the pay-per-view subscription to the May 8 showdown between world boxing icon Manny Pacquiao and American brawler Sugar Shane Mosley.
City Mayor Darlene Antonino-Custodio said the city government will open anew to the public the 5,000-capacity city gymnasium on Sunday for the free live viewing of the highly-anticipated Pacquiao-Mosley fight, which would be aired straight from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
The free live telecast will enable thousands of local boxing fans and avid followers of Pacquiao to get another “ringside view” of his title fight on Sunday. Aside from the city gymnasium, other village sports halls here will also air the fight live.
“This is our way of showing our all-out support for Manny. We’ll all be praying and cheering for him,” said Custodio, who is expected to lead anew the crowd in cheering for the boxing champion during the fight.
The city government had sponsored free live telecasts at the city gymnasium for previous major fights of Pacquiao, who grew up in Barangay Labangal here.
The eight-division world boxing champion, who is also representative of Sarangani province’s lone district, is fighting the American former four-division champion for the World Boxing Organization’s (WBO) welterweight title.
Avel Manansala, executive assistant of the city mayor’s office, said the city government has released beginning Friday some 7,000 free tickets for the live viewing of the fight at the city gymnasium in Barangay Lagao here.
He said they tapped the city’s 26 barangay councils to facilitate the distribution of the free tickets, which local residents may avail of on a “first come, first served” basis.
Manansala said the tickets will guarantee reserved seats inside the gymnasium, which will open at 8am Sunday for the live telecast–starting from the undercards to the main event.
“We’ll set up television sets outside the gymnasium to accommodate those who failed to avail of the free tickets,” he said.
Aside from the city government, the barangay councils of Apopong and Labangal here will also be offering free the live telecasts of the fight at their barangay gymnasiums.
Pacquiao’s younger brother Rogelio and sister-in-law Lorelei are barangay chairs of Apopong and Labangal, respectively.
In Sarangani, officials of the province’s congressional district office said a free live telecast of the Pacquiao-Mosley fight will also be beamed at the provincial capitol gymnasium.
Pacquiao’s local political party People’s Champ Movement is also setting up free live viewing of the fight in the province’s seven municipalities.
In this city and nearby Koronadal City in South Cotabato, a number of restaurants, cinemas and even small eateries are also offering live telecasts of the fight via pay-per-view and cable television. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)