Pacquiao fans sing the blues at TNP Sports Bar
Pacman fanatics turn up in force at new Tiger TNP Sports Bar to support 'Pride of Philippines'
The "Fight of the Century" turned out to be a forlorn experience for the majority of boxing fans who attended a "live" screening at the Tiger TNP Sports Bar yesterday morning (Singapore time).
Supporters of Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao were out in force at Shanghai Dolly in Clarke Quay, but left disappointed as the judges awarded a unanimous decision in favour of American Floyd Mayweather.
"Rematch!" shouted some of the 100-odd patrons in protest of Mayweather's ultra-defensive tactics, while others claimed the "Pride of the Philippines" was "robbed".
The Pacman, as Pacquiao is affectionately known as, may have lost, but he left a bigger impression in everyone's hearts, at least for those at the Sports Bar.
Andre Hoeden, who hosts the #2 Breakfast Show on ONE FM 91.3, was one of the many disappointed Pacquiao fans, who outnumbered the Mayweather following 20 to 1 at the Sports Bar.
But, the fight had, at least, lived up to his expectations.
In collaboration with TNP, One FM had rewarded over 60 listeners with match screening tickets yesterday morning.
"I have never watched 12 rounds of boxing that went by as quickly as this," Hoeden said.
"My heart was with Manny - he seems a much nicer guy (than Mayweather).
"He was aggressive, as expected. (Mayweather's) defensive boxing just made it boring. I thought Manny won it at the end but, then again, I have no clue how the scoring for boxing goes.
"The judges are the experts, so I can't say if this was a controversial result or not."
Simon Ooi, one of the few Mayweather fans in attendance at the Sports Bar, insisted that the judges gave a fair verdict.
"The statistics prove that Mayweather threw more punches than Pacquiao overall," he said.
"Boxing isn't just about being aggressive; there's an art to (being) defensive and winning matches in the end. Mayweather was at his usual best and I think it was a great fight from two great boxers."
After shutting its doors at St James Power Station two years ago, The New Paper Sports Bar will officially re-open at Mandopop club Shanghai Dolly on May 10.
Yesterday morning's screening of the fight was the first event at the new venue.
The bar, a collaboration between TNP, Tiger Beer and Shanghai Dolly, will continue to screen English Premier League on weekends, starting with Chelsea versus Liverpool on Sunday.
Gordon Foo, 33, managing director of the Sports Bar and Shanghai Dolly, said that he was pleased with the turnout for the fight.
"I was worried the fight would end after the first round, but it lived up to the hype; it was very entertaining," he said.
"We plan to host a lot more sporting events in the future and not just EPL matches.
"We're also planning to screen the Rugby World Cup (in September) and Formula One when it heads here."
Filipinos outraged as they feel their 'People's Champion' is cheated of victory
A COUNTRY UNITED: Filipino fans watching the "live" telecast of the welterweight unification bout between Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao and US boxer Floyd Mayweather in Manila yesterday. PHOTOS: AFP, REUTERS
Boxing fans in the Philippines cried foul and groaned in bitter disappointment yesterday morning (Singapore time) as national hero Manny Pacquiao lost to American rival Floyd Mayweather in the "Fight of the Century".
Filipinos filled gymnasiums, cinemas and bars as the South-east Asian nation of 100 million people stopped for Pacquiao's battle with Mayweather in Las Vegas, which he lost in a unanimous points decision.
A devastated Pacquiao said immediately afterwards that he thought he had won, and many at home agreed with him as they lashed out at the judges, while heaping praise on their inspiration.
"Pacquiao was cheated. Mayweather didn't land a single solid punch," said cable television technician Romeo Rivera, 41.
Rivera was among thousands of mostly poor people who had gathered in the main public square of Manila's Marikina suburb to watch the battle on a giant screen mounted on the back of a flat-bed truck.
"It's a home-court decision," said Karlo Alexei Nograles, a lawmaker from Davao City.
"Manny should've won. He had Mayweather running and cornered on the ropes. Manny did not disappoint Filipinos, he gave it his all."
In the southern port city of Zamboanga, loud boos echoed inside an army gymnasium where thousands of soldiers and their relatives watched Pacquiao suffer just the sixth defeat of his career.
"The decision was unfair. From the start, the commentators were for Manny. Everyone is disappointed," Lieutenant Colonel Noel Precioso said as others nearby expressed similar sentiments.
Even the nation's military chief, General Gregorio Catapang, weighed in with emotional comments immediately afterwards.
"I think the decision was not fair. Like Manny said, he thought he was ahead with points. Both fought carefully, but Manny was more aggressive. He was hitting Floyd," Catapang said.
On social media, popular television host and swimsuit model Georgina Wilson expressed outrage to her 2.76 million Twitter followers: "Mayweather did nothing!!!!!!!!!!!!! Such a joke!!!!!!!!!!!!!".
Pacquiao, 36, is a unifying figure in a country beset by grinding poverty, natural calamities and corruption.
His rags-to-riches story, from high school dropout to millionaire world boxing champion in an unprecedented eight weight divisions, is a huge source of hope and pride in the Philippines.
His fights throughout his career have caused the nation to grind to a halt, with nearly everyone stopping to watch them.
Famously, even crime has dropped to nearly nothing during Pacquiao fights.
President Benigno Aquino said before the Mayweather clash that Pacquiao, who has recorded 57 victories and two draws in his career, was an "inspiration for every Filipino".
Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said immediately after the loss that it had not diminished Pacquiao's standing.
"Pacquiao is truly the People's Champion. He fought for respect, not points. He won the hearts of the world," Lacierda said in a statement.
Echoing the sentiments of many, vice-president Jejomar Binay said Pacquiao would still return home a hero.
"Manny's life story lifts the spirit of every Filipino who struggle daily to rise from adversity. His humility and faith are an inspiration to all of us," he said.
Pacquiao leveraged his boxing popularity to get elected in parliament in 2010 and he has said he may run for president in the future.
Pacquiao is also a coveted endorser of international and local brands, making him currently the highest taxpayer in the Philippines.
And with the fight against Mayweather widely believed to be the most lucrative in boxing history with revenues of US$400 million ($532m), Pacquiao is set to return home with far deeper pockets despite having been vanquished. - AFP.