A final standing ovation for a Filipino hero who took brutal beatings in the last decade in order to bring pride to his country.
By Sarrah Jane Cope
FMN Sports Editor
LAS VEGAS – For one last time Manny ‘Pacman’ Pacquiao faced his adoring fans. They were on their feet. Chanting his name across the MGM Grand Garden Arena of 14,665 spectators – as a salute and final standing ovation for the Filipino pride, who took brutal beatings in the last decade in order to bring pride to his country.
Pacquiao retires his boxing gloves after scoring an unanimous decision and extending his dominance over Timothy Bradley Jr. in their welterweight showdown Saturday (April 9) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Pacquiao, who has a 2-1 edge against Bradley in this trilogy, needed a few rounds of warm-up before unleashing a vintage performance by knocking down Bradley twice in the seventh and ninth rounds, en route to a unanimous 116-110 scorecard from all the three judges.
“I’m so happy, because every round I was looking for a knockout,” said Pacquiao in BadLeftHook.com interview.
Pacquiao, a certified Hall of Famer of the sport and the only fighter with eight division world championships, earlier pronounced that this will be his final fight, but it seems that no one believes his statements, especially after the fight where he left everyone wanting more.
“I don’t know yet. I might enjoy retired life. I might not. So I cannot say right now that, you know – because I’m not there yet,” said Pacquiao, who has been boxing for 21 years, 15 of which were under the renowned corner man Freddie Roach.
Serving his countrymen and spending time with his family are the main reasons why the three-time Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year is calling it quits, as he is running for a senatorial seat in this coming Philippine elections on May 9th.
His wife, Jinkee, according to a report, has been telling him that this should be his last fight.
Pacquiao improved his record of 58 wins, six losses and two draws with 38 knockouts, after the 12-rounder defeat last year against also retired Floyd Mayweather Jr., after admitting that he fought with an injury to his right rotator cuff that required an operation.
Bradley (33-2-1, 13KOs) came to the fight believing that he could once again prevail after their initial salvo in 2012, which ended up in a highly controversial split decision, but he ended up being a fan, affirming that Pacquiao could be too much for him to handle.
“He’s just very quick, very explosive. It’s hard to judge him; he has quick reflexes,” said Bradley.
As of writing, Pacquiao’s entourage has left Los Angeles and one last hero’s welcome is expected to be prepared for the Philippine pride before he starts his political campaign.
They will be big shoes to fill, but will there ever be another Pacquiao?