pacman-delahoya-press photoI woke up at 3AM here in Nigeria just to wait for the fight. I was prepared to watch the fight via internet live feed.

But as i was checking channels on DSTV, i saw their was an HBO fight in Supersports 2. When i checked the information, it was the Pacquiao – de la Hoya fight. I immediately called my Pinoy housemate – Ferjim Perez – to watch it in my room.

I texted Roland Rosales at neighboring Surulere to tell him that he can watch the fight from DSTV.

I opened my laptop and logged on to my YM. My high school classmate, Mildox Tumanda, in New Jersey promptly told me that he was disappointed that no Mexican friends of his wants to take his 100 usd bet for a Manny win…

Another friend in Canada, Engr. Jepoy, was also watching the fight. He is also for the underdog – Manny.

At the start of the main fight, Karylle provided a guffaw when she choked midway thru the national anthem.. I was beginning to think she was singing for Shake, Rattle and Roll episode.. Nevertheless, Karylle was able to get hold of her quivering voice to finish the song. Mabuhay si Karylle..

However, Karylle is not the only one having the nerves. The guy who sang the Mexican national anthem and even the lady who sang the Star-spangled also choked.. It must be the electrifying atmosphere at MGM that gave the singers the ‘frog-scare’.

As Manny and de la Hoya (DLH) entered the ring, I felt a bit of worry looking at the disparity in their size and heft. But hey, i did not waver in my challenge to other Pinoys — 100 USD for Manny.

On the first 2 rounds, i was relieved that Manny was in control of the game…

The 3rd round passed with Manny still in points. This is the round that de la hoya’s camp predicted would be the end of Pacman. De la hoya exhanged solid blows with Manny but Pacman held out. Well, DLH went to his corner with a cut in the righ side of his nose, and a reddish swelling starting under his left eye. So far so good. Roach told Manny to anticipate more and do more counterpunche.

Manny Pacquiao stops Oscar de la Hoya with 8th round TKO...

Manny Pacquiao stops Oscar de la Hoya with 8th round TKO...

Fourth round saw de la hoya chasing Manny. But Manny’s counterpunches kept DLH at arm’s length. Manny’s solid right-hand jab keeps finding Oscar’s face. Late in the round, Manny took his turn in stalking de la hoya. Roach told Manny that de la hoya can’t handle his speed so he should frequently move while throwing punches..

Fifth round started with Manny still in control of the tempo. Oscar is showing sluggish reaction and footwork. The crowd’s cheer is deafening everytime Manny makes a combination punch. Shouts of ‘Manny, manny’ echoed in the arena.

Manny was tagged by DLH in the corner. And bygollywow, de la hoya held Manny’s head while he punched him 3 times in the left face. It was like Oscar thought he was bullying a 10 year old kid. Manny wiggled out of it. I am sure Freddie Roach’s heart went to his throat at that moment. At the end of the round, Roach told Manny to stay out of the corners and bring the fight in the middle of the ring. A Filipino cornerman was translating to Manny “wag ka sa lubid…”

pacman-right-straightSixth round opened with both fighters just doing shadow boxing. Manny broke the ice with a Pacman combination. Oscar was very tentative. Not counterpunching that much. Manny dancing counterclockwise to a glassy-eyed Oscar. He tagged de la hoya with a one-two punch s he moved sideways. The round ended with few solid blows from Manny. Oscar’s swelling under his left eye was becoming darker and lumpier.

On the 7th, De la hoya has visibly slowed down. at 1:27 of the round, Manny cornered him and pummeled de la hoya with blinding punches. When de la hoya failed to return any power punch, it was already certain he was hurting. Manny cornered Oscar many times and it looks like a KO is coming. But in fairness to Oscar, he held his ground as Manny made him looked like a sparring partner. Manny again cornered de la hoya and subjected him to a punching bag routine punches. There was a time de la hoya’s right foot lifted after a solid left from Manny on his ribcage. Oscar’s knees wobbled but he stayed standing. During the break, the referee went to de la hoya’s corner and asked him if he is dizzy or having headache and offered de la hoya to stop the fight. Oscar sat there with an empty looked, but decided to fight on.

In the 8th round, it was an all-Manny show. De la hoya was spent. Manny mercilessly pummeled him to the ropes. The crowd went wild. Shouts of “Manny, Manny” reverb thru the building. At 22 seconds of the round, Manny ‘showboated’ and allowed Oscar to hit him. Manny raised his hands to say he was OK. But Manny came back to finish the round by pushing Oscar to the corner and savaged the Golde Boy with unanswered punches.

The referee again asked Oscar if he felt dizzy. He asked Oscar if he wants to stop the fight. When Round 9 started, Oscar remained in his corner. After the referee signalled the fight is over, Oscar stood up and went to Manny’s corner — the fight is over. The crowd roared in applause. Pandemonium in the ring. Manny ran to a neutral corner, dropped to his knees and said a prayer.

I almost choked when De la hoya agreed to end his agony.

pacman-wins-over-de-la-hoyaManny defeats Oscar ‘The Golden Boy” de la Hoya!!!! Unbelievable…

TKO by the 8th round. The era of Manny Pacquiao has come….

We were clapping and shouting in the room, unmindful that it was the wee hours of the morning…

During the in-ring interview, I was surprised to hear Manny answeing in english. Our guy has greatly improved on all fronts.

The only sore to the eyes were the puking presence of Noli de Castro and Chavit Singson in the ring. Good thing that the interviewer did not bother to give Noli a chance of interview. Jepoy at YM said felt like vomiting when he saw Noli in the ring… Relax, manoy jepoy… Naa na bitaw ka sa Canada.

Well, It’s 7.30 AM already and i have just finished watching the replay.

Need to sleep.  Ferjim needs to cook for our breakfast.

Later in the day, i will review all those boxing sites with comments saying Manny can’t win… Ho-hum…

I also would like to hear some words from Cagayan de oro Cong. Rufus Rodriguez.. Ho-hummm…

We will expect a new single or album from Pacma, the singer… Maybe a Pinoy Christmas album from Manny.

And last but not the least, Congrats also to Richie Mipranum, the lone Filipino in the undercard, for winning against his Mexican foe Cesar Lopez by unanimous decision in a six-round junior bantamweight (115 lbs) fight;

Well, I am very happy that i finally saw Manny’s greatest fight live here in Nigeria. A millon thanks, DTSV.

Congratulations and Mabuhay ka, bai Manny…. God has blessed you again.