SPORTS: Bukidnons watch Pacquiao beat Marquez, fails public

MALAYBALAY CITY  (Bukidnon News/13 November) From stores, to eateries and restaurants, a fire station, to gymnasiums – Bukidnon residents glued on the screen to watch the Philippines’ pride Manny ‘Pacman’ Pacquiao against Mexico’s Juan Manuel Marquez during a WBO welterweight title fight, Saturday night (Sunday in the Philippines) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

After 12 rounds of boxing, Pacquiao was declared the winner over a majority decision, with one judge ruling it was a draw. The pound for pound King retained the title in a fight many thought couldn’t be the last of the two’s duel.

Pacquiao’s victory faced mixed reactions with some crying foul of misjudgment in Bukidnon.

Pacquiao drew cheers and from the crowd viewing from the Malaybalay City Public Market in the few times Pacquiao managed to penetrate punches against Marquez when he was trying to control the fight from rounds eight to 12. But he held the public in silence and disappointment as Marquez ruled from rounds one to seven.

In the last bout of the trilogy duel, Pacquio edged Marquez with three judges’ scores 114-114, 115-113, and 116-112.

He wowed the judges but he lost in public opinion.

In Malaybalay City, Harold Casinabe, 47, a printing executive and a former Overseas Filipino Worker, said Pacquiao did not deserve to win.

“He won it by decision. It was Marquez who won it in the boxing ring,” he added.

Casinabe said Pacquiao did not really show his boxing power.
He shared the same reaction with the others who watched the fight in local restaurant restaurants.
The bigger disappointment was in the free screening sponsored by the Malaybalay City government in two areas.
At the unfinished second floor of the Malaybalay City Public Market, there were more “ahhhhhs” expressing disappointment than cheers for Pacquiao.
“Kabo!” “Kabo” (cheat, cheat), young Maranao vendors who lived near the public market said.
“If he could have knocked down Marquez, it could have been believable,” said laborer Nestor Alama, who brought his family to the public viewing area.
“We could accept Pacquiao’s defeat. The decision is not fair,” said Allan, a janitor.
Those who watched from the Malaybalay City covered court, where four TV sets were set up, echoed the same reactions.
“We did not see Manny the pound for pound fighter there. We saw Manny the fighter who could have lost,” Jerome, a salesman of a department store said.

Some viewers said Pacquiao disappointed them and thought he lost to Marquez.

“There could be a fourth duel between the two fighters,” another one said.

In Manolo Fortich town, board member Clive Quino said they were expecting a “hail of bombs from Pacman (Pacquiao) but obviously he couldn’t get through Marquez’s defense unlike their first fight.”
He added that he was expecting the same result as that of their second fight.
“A few thought it should have been a draw. A very few thought it should have been decided the other way around,” he added.

Hopefully, he said, he will not fight like that against (Floyd) Mayweather or else he will be battered to a pulp or lose his belt.
“But everybody was happy nonetheless,” he said.

In Maramag, Nonon Torres, a young businessman who watched from home, cried foul about the victory. He said others think Pacquiao could have sold his game just to entice Mayweather to fight him.
In Don Carlos town, 32 year -old small businessman Rico Canono said it was so disappointing, “he was not satisfied” with the game’s result.
“That game didn’t turned out to be fair because most of the time Manny Pacquiao wasn’t able to penetrate his punches to Marquez and yet he won the fight!,” he added.

Canono watched the fight together with a crowd with more or less 50 people at the Municipal Fire Station.
“They’re already making boxing totally a business where they even have decisions that are really objectionable! Pacquiao won but it’s not convincing,” Ruel Quimson, a local fire official, said.

He said they should not have another match against each other.

Others, however, believed Pacquiao deserved victory.

“That was fair enough. Marquez should be there to fight not just to wait to be fought by Pacman. He wasn’t able to land most of his punches to Pacman. Manny clearly landed a lot more shots and he really deserved his victory, “said Jun Chavez, a Don Carlos resident said.
His son, Weng, said Marquez came fairly close to dominating Pacquiao but not enough to defeat him.
Others who joined an informal post-fight discussion in a street in Don Carlos said they might not be satisfied with the decision but it will be difficult for them to forget how competitive and close the fight was.

The game was the third match between Pacquiao and Marquez. The first match in 2004 saw Marquez rally from overwhelming three knockdowns in the first round which resulted to a controversial draw.

The second match had Pacquiao mark up a split decision in 2008 highlighted by a third-round knockdown of Marquez. (Walter I. Balane with reports from Erlow Talatala and Earl Bolivar in Malaybalay, Krizzia Lynn L. Magaway in Don Carlos, and Melodina Molejon in Maramag/Bukidnon News)

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