Setting the record straight on his recently concluded, controversial 12-round fight with Mexican pugilist Juan Manuel Marquez at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao seemingly took a jab at doubting Thomases and said he feels he really won the fight.
Interviewed live via phone patch, Pacquiao was asked what he initially felt after the twelfth round. “Alam ko talaga na panalo ako pero hindi talaga ‘yung unanimous decision. Alam ko na very close fight but I believe I won the fight,” Pacquiao explained on “Showbiz Central,” Nov. 13.
Pacquiao, however, admitted it was a difficult fight.
“’Yung expectations na gano’n na lang natin talunin si Marquez ay hindi nangyari ‘yon dahil si Marquez ay tanggapin natin [na] magaling na boksingero at magaling sa counter punch. Dumadating talaga sa ano ‘yan, sa boxing,” he said.
After Pacquiao’s name was announced as winner, the venue roared with boos directed at the Pambansang Kamao, something that has never happened in his fights before.
Pacquiao downplayed it as “kasama sa laro ‘yan.”
“Alam mo, maraming mga Mexicano, maraming mga Pilipino… ang daming mga Mexican. Siyempre, ‘yung mga Pilipino natuwa at ‘yung mga Mexicano masama ang loob nila dahil natalo sila,” he explained.
Describing his controversial fight with Marquez as “okay naman” and “sa awa ng Panginoon [ay] maganda ang pakiramdam natin… pasalamat tayo sa Panginoon na nananalo tayo sa fight,” Pacquiao noted.
“Siyempre, ‘yung expectation ng mga tao ay hindi naman palaging one-sided ‘yung panalo natin. Dumarating talaga ‘yung panahon na manalo tayo by first degree.”
The boxing champ said he greeted Marquez after the fight and it turned out quite well.
“Binati ko naman siya sa ring. Okay naman. Maganda naman ang approach ko. Mabait naman ‘yung team niya.”
He explained that his wife Jinkee looks worried and emotional while he was fighting because she was nervous.
“Siyempre, kakabahan din ‘yon kasi very close fight nga. Ang lakas nga niya sumigaw. Ang laban na ‘yon ay talagang mate-tense ka, talagang hindi ka mapapalagay.”
After the fight, boxing promoter Bob Arum hinted about a possible rematch with Marquez, something to which Pacquiao agrees.
“May posibilidad naman at depende naman kay Bob Arum ‘yan. Siya ang promoter ko. Ang trabaho ko ay mag-ensayo at lumaban sa taas ng ring,” said the champ, who will be leaving Las Vegas, Nevada Nov. 16 to arrive in the country on Nov. 18.
Asked about the cut he suffered, Pacquiao quipped, “Okay naman, ayos na. Maganda ang pagkatahi. ‘Yun lang naman ang ano natin.”
For the first time, Pacquiao broke tradition by not performing in a concert after his fight.
“Eto ako sa kuwarto nagpapahinga. May concert doon pero ang banda ko ang kakanta. Hindi ako bababa doon.”
Later, he thanked all his well-wishers.
“Maraming salamat sa lahat ng mga kababayan natin na pumunta dito at nanood lalo na ‘yung mga kasama natin sa congress, sa mga politician na pumunta rito, sa sambayanang Pilipino na nanood din diyan sa Pilipinas. Salamat sa walang sawang pagsuporta at alay ko sa inyo ang tagumpay kong ito at karangalan kong ito.”
But Pacquiao’s lips were sealed when asked if he indeed went home with the biggest prize money, reportedly amounting to $23 million.
“Secret,” he quipped.
By ALEX VALENTIN BROSAS