Champion in our hearts


DESPITE his impressive display of explosive punches and dynamic movements, Manny Pacquiao still bowed down before a formidable opponent during the “Battle of Brisbane” on Sunday, July 2.

In his latest conquest, Pacquiao surrendered his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title to Jeff Horn in front of more than 51,052 people at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.

After 12 grueling rounds, Horn won via a unanimous decision against Pacquiao with scores of 117-111, 115-113 and 115-113. The Australian fighter now holds a perfect record of 17 wins with 11 KOs.

While many contest the judges’ decision, Pacquiao graciously accepted his defeat.

“That’s the decision of the judges, I respect that,” Pacquiao said as he thanked his fans and countrymen.

There have been rumors that Sunday’s fight was a litmus test for Pacquiao’s possible retirement. The Filipino champion hasn’t knocked out an opponent since 2009. After dropping his fourth loss in his last nine outings, Pacquiao is now at 56-7-2 with 38 KOs.

This early, Pacquiao is looking into another showdown—to regain his WBO welterweight title—against Horn in November.

“Rematch, that’s fine. Absolutely, I’d love that,” Pacquiao declared.

Athletes do more than just to represent the flag where they come from. Their presence in any sporting event gives their countrymen hope, self-respect, and to many—pride in who they are.

In his entire career, Pacquiao gave his kababayanss something to watch and be passionate about. The whole world stood witness to Pacquiao’s rise to the top: from being the struggling 14-year-old boy who left his home in Mindanao to being the best fighter of his generation. His commitment to the sport and dedication to winning have catapulted him to be one of the most famous personalities in sports. His career so far, embodies the stuff legends are made of.

And why not. After all, his achievements supersedes Pacquiao himself—winning eight championships in different weight divisions by beating boxing champions from around the world. All his hard work has manifested into millions of earnings, a successful showbiz career and a legislative post. His fame has catapulted him to become one of the most revered Filipino icons of all time.

Pacquiao, whose career has been put into question after a series of losses, still managed to give his audience worldwide an impressive showing. That is the kind of champion that he is. When his back is against the wall and everyone is raising questions, he leaves a lasting performance that puts the record straight. Pacquiao’s reign as the king of the ring is far from over. (AJPress)

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