Fighting Sarangani congressman Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao made do with his promise in uplifting the spirits of the Filipinos, especially the ones affected by the super typhoon Yolanda, by winning against Mexican-American boxer Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios on Sunday at the Cotai Arena in Macau.
Returning on the ring after his dismal sixth-round knockout by Juan Manuel Marquez December last year, the eight division champion won their welterweight showdown via a unanimous decision against Rios with final scores of 120-108, 119-109, 118-110.
On this fight, American Idol alum and Filipino-American singer Jessica Sancez took the privilege of singing both the American national anthem, Star-Spangled Banner and the Philippine national anthem, Lupang Hinirang.
Having faced two defeats in the past year, the boxing superstar stressed via an interview with HBO’s Larry Merchant that he has opted not to push for a knockout this time.
“I’m very careful, I learned [during] the last fight. If the knockout comes, it comes. But I’m very careful throwing punches and counter punches. That is what I did in this fight,” he explained.
During the bout Pacquiao showed his deft footwork and speed which many presume was his advantage against Rios. But he still opted to give credit to Rios even calling him as “one of the toughest opponents” in his career.
“He took a lot of punches. The stolen punch the left hand [jab] but he’s still standing,” he said.
But can he still fight far elite boxers that are of his range in terms of skill?
“I can still fight. I didn’t consider Rios as an easy opponent, he’s tough but a little bit slower I can still fight faster opponent and boxer,” assured Pacquiao.
Prior to his fight, Pacquiao during his previous interviews had repeatedly stressed that this fight with Rios is something that he would triumph over for his thousands of devastated kababayans in the Visayas region following super typhoon Yolanda’s (international name: Haiyan) wrath last November 8.
“It’s really important to me to bring this honor to my country especially people who are affected by the typhoon. I’m pretty sure that they’re so happy right now because I won the fight,” said the 34-year-old boxing champion.
Guaranteed with a purse of $18 million, Pacquiao vowed to return home soon and help those who have been displaced by the strongest recorded typhoon on Earth.
“Thank you, thank you so much especially thanks to god for the strength that he has given to me tonight and thank you to all your support to my fellow my countrymen. To all the people and the families who are affected by the typhoon, I will see you there. You know I love you so much,” he promised.
With this brilliant comeback, many have once again been curious to know as to who will be his next opponent or if the much-awaited bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr. would even happen soon.
But Pacquiao hasn’t set his sights on this matters just yet even saying that “Actually right now I don’t have any idea, it depends to my promoter [Top Rank chief executive) Bob Arum.”
Will it be in the US just like the others or will it be a continuation of his most-recent fight which was done in Asia?
“Yes that’s what I want. I miss fighting in Las Vegas,” he quipped.