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Sports

Pinoys cheer Manny's brilliant win

- Joey Villar, Nelson Beltran -

Move over Floyd Mayweather. You too Roy Jones.

To Filipino fight fans and probably around the world, Manny Pacquiao established himself as the best fighter of his generation after he added 10-time world champion Oscar dela Hoya to his list of victims.

The Filipinos lauded Pacquiao’s shocking one-sided disposal of Dela Hoya in their dream bout that turned into a nightmare for the former Olympic gold medalist at MGM Grand Garden Arena Saturday (Sunday morning in Manila).

Dela Hoya himself became an instant Pacquiao fan, calling the Filipino fighter “idol” in the TV interview after the 8-round mismatch.

Pacquiao has tarnished Dela Hoya’s reputation, giving Golden Boy a severe beating that could well spell the end for boxing’s richest and most marketable star.

With the embarrassing defeat, Dela Hoya may no longer be considered among the worthiest for the honor as the best fighter in his time.

Neither Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, Juan Manuel Marquez and David Diaz, who all suffered at the hands of the Filipino ring warrior.

“This bout made Pacquiao the best fighter of his generation,” said North Cotabato Vice Gov. Manny Piñol, a boxing expert, in a radio interview.

Ordinary fight fans and people in the streets were also convinced of the magnitude of Pacquiao’s latest ring exploit.

“He’s not just the best pound-for-pound boxer today. He’s the best fighter in the 21st century. No other can claim that,” said Joseph Lopez, an employee and among those who filled the Silver City main hall to watch the fight.

“It’s unbelievable, Manny Pacquiao climbing two divisions up, fighting a legend and still coming out the winner. What’s more he’s to prove? Nothing,” said Manolo Fortes, a businessman from Taytay, Rizal.

“With his conquest of Dela Hoya, he just made himself the best Filipino fighter of all time and the best fighter in the world in his time,” said Danny Gilloco, another businessman from Quezon City.

A big number of fans, however, hope that Pacquiao will stay just the fighter that he is, giving the country glory with his ring feats rather than enter the world of politics.

Incidentally, the Silver City crowd and from all the other venues for that matter, booed when Pacquiao acknowledged the presence of some politicians in the fight venue during the post-fight interview.

“I hope he doesn’t dare plunge into the political arena again,” said Maria Fe Ganzon, a Makati executive, of Pacquiao, beaten in a congressional derby in the last elections.

Many also expressed dissatisfaction on the performance put up by Dela Hoya.

“Of course, I rooted for our fighter but I was not happy with what I saw. Dela Hoya didn’t put up a fight,” said Pedro de Guia, a storeowner from Caloocan.

Some others think Pacquiao suited finely at 147 pounds.

“He should stay there. That’s the perfect weight division for him. He looked very comfortable in that division,” said Boy Flores, a carpenter.

Alfredo Flores said the man Pacquiao should avoid is Marquez. He said: “Marquez is Pacquiao’s real nemesis. If there’s one who really gave Pacquiao a tough time, it’s Marquez.”

DELA

DELA HOYA

FIGHTER

HOYA

MARQUEZ

PACQUIAO

SILVER CITY

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