Panalo Ang Pinoy!
Si Manny Pacquiao ang tumapos!
I was not a big boxing fan until I caught Manny’s first fight with Morales. Prior to that, all I knew of Manny was that he defeated Barreira and that it was a major surprise, and a major upset at that. I remember he won an HBO poll declaring him the ‘upset of the year’ (or something like that).
When the first installment of this legendary trilogy with Morales was shown, we were in the farthest corner of Zambales making an occular inspection of a resort. Sa channel 9 pa nga palabas non. Everyone was enjoying the beach, but I was inside, watching the fight intently. I remember cringing at every punch he received, his face drenched with blood oozing from the cut on his brow. Manny finished all twelve rounds despite the injury resulting from their headbutt, but he lost the match.
By his second fight, I’ve become a bona fide Pacquiao fan. I stayed home and watched it on TV. I remember being upset by a text message that preempted the result, but Manny’s victory was still as sweet as it could be. He did not disappoint. I kept telling my friend why it was such a momentous occasion for me. Sabi ko, I’m so proud to have found the boxing idol for my generation. While our parents had the likes of Ilorde, or Espinosa, kami, tayo, may Pacquiao. And what an idol he is. He is an icon not only of the sport, but more importantly of patriotism, faith and humility.
Larios then came over and was sideswept. Nadagdagan lang lalo ang paghanga ko, at pag-idolo kay Manny.
And finally, this. The grand finale of one of the greatest boxing trilogies ever.
Pacquiao versus Morales.
The people’s champ made early progress, dominating the first round with both power and speed.
By the second, Pacquiao had Morales on his knee. The Pinoy worked up and down, to the body and to the head, choosing his punches and executing them beautifully. The Mexican put up a good fight, but with punches that came in clumps, the round was definitely ours.
Manny was obviously pumped up, starting the third round with seemingly unstoppable momentum. Morales bravely tried to make it up, throwing great punches of his own, but paling in comparison to Pacquiao’s powerful attacks. It was total carnage. After being downed the first time in the round, Morales looked hopeless. Less than twenty seconds before the bell, Manny concluded the match, not only winning the fight, but winning it by TKO… on the third round! The Pacman floored El Terrible. The only fighter to do so, and he did it twice.
Ang sarap ng pakiramdam. Pacquiao graciously shared the victory with all of us, and indeed, it was ours. Panahong ganito, ang sarap maging Pilipino.
Sana hindi lang ngayon. Sana, laging alalahanin ng bawat Pinoy ang dangal ng lahing kayumanggi.
Mabuhay ka Manny! Mabuhay ang Pilipinas! Mabuhay ang Pilipino!