GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/13 November) — A grand hero’s welcome awaits world-boxing champion Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao here and in Sarangani province, where he is the congressman, officials said after his fight with Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez.
Sarangani Gov. Miguel Rene Dominguez lauded Pacquiao, also called the “Pacman,” for his performance in what he deemed as a close fight.
“Manny won a very close decision bringing pride once again to all Filipinos,” Dominguez said, adding “two great fighters proved themselves and Manny prevailed.”
But not everyone agreed with Dominguez’ assessment (see other story).
It was the third fight between Pacquiao and Marquez, the first ending in a draw and the second the former won by a split decision.
As usual, the streets were largely deserted as people stayed in their homes while tricycle and jeepney drivers paused from their routine to watch the fight.
The fight beamed live over cable television was close, with some predicting a Marquez win.
But the judges gave the fight to Pacquiao, with one handing an even score.
Dominguez pushed for another fight, hopefully to silence critics doubting the decision of the judges.
The Sarangani government is preparing a grand hero’s welcome for its congressman on November 25, during the opening of the province’s Munato Festival.
The festival celebrates the foundation anniversary of the Sarangani, which was carved out of South Cotabato in 1992.
Meanwhile, Avel Manansala, Gensan government media liaison officer, said the city government will also give a grand hero’s welcome to Pacquiao who owns mansions and several businesses in the city.
Manansala said they would arrange with the camp of the boxing champion the details of the grand welcome.
Pacquiao’s mother, Dionesia, failed to go to mass early in the morning at the Our Lady of Peace and Voyage Parish as had been her tradition every time her son fights. She also did not grant interviews prior to today’s fight.
She is reportedly ill and was advised by doctors to stay home. (Bong Sarmiento/MindaNews)