President Benigno Aquino III considers Manny Pacquiao’s defeat to Timothy Bradley in their WBO welterweight fight as an opportunity for the Filipino icon to improve himself as a boxer, even as some Negrenses observed that Pacman’s skills are taking a dip.
In a text message sent to Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, the President expressed confidence that, with his defeat to Bradley, Pacquiao is bound to reach even greater heights.
Games and Amusement Board chairman, Negrense Juan Ramon Guanzon, who watched the fight live at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas, said that while he thinks Pacquiao won the fight, the once “fast and furious” Pacman seemed to have gotten tired in the late rounds.
The same observation was expressed by Negros Amateur Boxing Association officer and sports aficionado Oscar “Dodong” Bascon, who viewed the Pacquiao-Bradley fight via satellite feed from his restaurant at 27th Street in Bacolod City.
“Personally, I felt he lost. He was not that strong anymore in the later rounds. The stamina was no longer there.” Bascon said.
He also noted that Pacquiao, who used to attack his foes bravely inside the ring, showed some tentative movements and was seemingly careful in throwing his punches.
Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. also expressed dismay over the way Pacquiao fought against Bradley.
The governor said Pacquiao’s punches were not power-packed and he seemed out of focus.
On rumors that the decision favoring Bradley was rigged, Marañon said it was mere speculations and unfounded ones.
But while some quarters observed that Pacquiao’s magic is no longer there, Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia said it is just a temporary setback and the legend lives on.
He said those inside the MGM Grand saw what happened and they knew that Pacquiao was robbed of the victory.
“It was a big shock to the boxing world when the decision was announced. Mind-boggling indeed,” Leonardia said.
Punching statistics compiled by Compubox showed Pacquiao landing 253 punches to 159 for Bradley, and landing more punches in 10 of the 12 rounds.
Pacquiao, meanwhile, has accepted his loss and was magnanimous in defeat.
Inside the locker room after the fight, he told his family and friends not to be sad “because God has a bigger plan than our plans”. *NAB