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    Resurgent Pacquiao delivers on promise to bounce back, thinks of Yolanda victims
    By Alder Almo Updated Monday November 25, 2013 - 1:47pm
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    MACAU - Like a phoenix, Manny Pacquiao rose up from the ashes of a devastating knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez last year.

    There was no doubt in everyone's mind that Pacquiao is back after he beat the much younger and bigger Brandon Rios via unanimous decision on Sunday here at the Cotai Arena in the Venetian Resorts & Casino.

    "I told them (critics) that this is not my time yet. My journey will continue. I said we will rise again," Pacquiao told reporters in the post-fight press conference. "And that's what happened."

    And now Pacquiao wants his countrymen to do the same.

    The Visayas region was battered by a storm surge when Pacquiao was in the middle of his training camp for this fight. Pacquiao's compassion almost got into the way but was prevailed upon.

    "It's very difficult for me. I felt so bad for what happened in the Visayas area in the middle of my training camp. I want to visit them but I can't. I just prayed for them and sent my staff in Congress and people in GenSan to bring them help, relief goods," said Pacquiao, who improved to 55-5-2 (win-loss-draw) record after beating the former world champion Rios.

    Pacquiao just want to savor this victory that put him back in the winner's circle after two straight losses before going to Tacloban, the hardest-hit of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).

    "I promised them after (this) fight, I'll visit them as soon as possible. We'll finalize the date," Pacquiao.

    Many cast doubt on Pacquiao's ability to come back after that brutal sixth round knockout loss he suffered at the hands of Marquez. Some even called him out to retire.

    But not even a cold-blooded knockout punch can sink the heart of the People's Champion.

    "Before the fight, they're criticizing me for not being as aggressive as before. I told them that I can still be but it depends on my opponent. Like in Marquez fight, I cannot be that aggressive because he's a counter puncher," Pacquiao said.

    And his over aggressiveness did him in.

    "It just happened that in the sixth round, he caught me with a good punch. That's part of boxing," Pacquiao said.

    The win against Rios proved that Pacquiao's heart is unsinkable.

     "I proved them today (Sunday) that I still have it," he added.

    Sunday's big win was not only for himself to bring his confidence and the fans' trust back.

    "All glory and honor is to God. Not to me. I'm just a fighter doing my job inside the ring. I hope that this win especially to my kababayan ay nakapagbigay ako ng karangalan, ng kasiyahan sa inyong lahat. And not only to the Filipino people but all the boxing fans around the world," he said.

    He may have not knocked Rios out, but his victory served as a reminder of what truly a Filipino heart is.

    Not even a knockout punch or a storm surge can sink it.  

    Manny Pacquiao is back. And so will be the Filipinos in Visayas.

    ***

    (Editor's note: This special coverage of the Pacquiao-Rios fight here in Macau is made possible by Cebu Pacific Air, why every Juan flies.)

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