Sunday, November 15, 2009

Filipino Boxing Icon Manny Pacquiao Wins Over Puerto Rico's Miguel Cotto; Now Holds 7 World Titles

A typically busy road in Zamboanga City in the southern Philippines is empty as Filipinos watched Sunday, November 15, 2009 the much-awaited WBO welterweight championship 12-round bout between Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao and Puerto Rico’s Miguel Cotto in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pacquiao grabbed the title from Cotto after the referee stopped the fight. Pacquiao is the only boxer who now holds the world championships in the flyweight, super bantamweight, featherweight, super featherweight, lightweight, and light welterweight and the welterweight. (Mindanao Examiner Photo in Zamboanga City and Chris Fernandez of the Philippine News Service in Las Vegas.)

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / November 15, 2009) – Filipinos celebrated Sunday Manny Pacquiao’s winning over Puerto Rico’s Miguel Cotto in the 12-round WBO welterweight championship in Las Vegas, Navada.

Roads, which were typically busy and crowded during ordinary days, were empty as many residents in the southern Philippine city of Zamboanga watched the bout inside their houses, in restaurants and cinemas aired live via satellite.

Motorcycle taxi and jeepney drivers and ordinary citizens – from fruit vendors to beggars crowded roadside eateries which showed the fight on their cable televisions.

They chanted only one name: “Manny, Manny,” and as usual, many gambled their money and bet who would win the fight. For those who bet for Cotto admitted that Pacquiao is the best pound-for-pound champion, while others swore the 31-year old Filipino boxing legend carries a talisman.

“He is sure has one of those talisman that’s why he is so good and strong, just like Bernardo Carpio,” said a 52-year old man, Steve Toribio, referring to a Filipino mythology figure.

One taxi driver, Domingo Angeles, 41, said Pacquiao, who knocked down Cotto twice on the floor, said he waited the whole morning just to watch the fight.

“Pacman is the best. I hope many other Filipinos would bring more honor and pride to the country. With his winning the welterweight, I hope Manny could help a lot of poor people in Mindanao,” he said.

Pacman is Pacquiao’s moniker. He is the first boxer to win seven world titles in different weight divisions - flyweight, super bantamweight, featherweight, super featherweight, lightweight, and light welterweight and welterweight.

“Manny is the best. There is no one who can defeat Pacquiao, who brought the Philippines and the Filipino people more honors. I was in tears as I watch Manny’s victory on television because of the pride he gave us all,” said Maritess Fernandez, 32, who is the publisher of the regional newspaper, the Mindanao Examiner.

Pacquiao was born to a poor family in Bukidnon province and currently lives with his mother and wife in General Santos City in Mindanao. He started his boxing career at the age of 16. (Mindanao Examiner)

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