BALANGA City, Bataan: Spectators at the giant Bataan People’s Center in this city on Sunday rejoiced over Filipino boxing icon and senator Manny Pacquiao’s victory in Las Vegas over defending WBO welterweight champion Jesse Vargas.
The 5,000-capacity center was only half-full unlike in previous Pacquiao fights but applause and wild cheers filled the air every time the senator landed a punch on his opponent.
The cheers became defeaning when it was announced that the Pambansang Kamao had won by a unanimous decision.
“Magaling ang laban ngayon ni Senator Pacquiao, talagang karangalan siya ng Pilipinas [Senator Pacquiao put up a good fight, he really is a pride of the Philippines]. Congratulations!” local boxing afficionado Jimmy Mangalindan said.
It was, however, a different atmosphere when the ring emcee announced that another Filipino boxer, Nonito Donaire, lost to Jessie Magdaleno in the undercard.
The audience at the free public viewing merely stared blankly at the big screen.