Everyone certainly had their breaths held as the Dream Match of the Year began. It was opened up with the national anthem of the Philippines sang by national artist, Karylle (albeit quite badly as compared to previous performances) followed by the mexican and american national anthems.
The 12 rounds of boxing between challenger Manny “PACMAN” Pacquiao and the Golden Boy Oscar Dela Hoya had thousands watching on the MGM Stadium and millions more in pay-per-view at their homes. In the Philippines, the whole nation watched with anticipation as cinemas in malls, restaurants and public places turned their televisions on to watch the highly anticipated match.
When the match began, the crowd was all in favor of the champion, Oscar Dela Hoya — after all, it would seem that his age and expertise in the sport would proove to be his weapon against Manny. However, the fight did not even last until the 12th round as Oscar Dela Hoya conceded on the 8th round ending the bout with a withdrawal after receiving one heck of a pummeling from the Filipino Proud which is now the number one Pound per Pound boxer in the world.
It was not much of a fight for the Dela Hoya Camp as Manny’s speed — his fast jabs and quick footing, allowed him to hit the Golden Boy on different directions causing Oscar Dela Hoya to ultimately be confused at Manny’s sudden change of style in boxing. The battle was in a way a David and Goliath battle not just in the physical sense with Oscar being the larger fighter but on the popularity sense as well with everyone believing that Manny would lose.
Manny Pacquiao’s spirit and determination; his strong will and his excellence in fighting — something that he had reminded everyone of tonight is certainly something to make every Filipino proud of their so-called “Pambansang Kamao”.
In the interview after the bout, Oscar Dela Hoya said nothing but praises for the spectacular match that Manny has given to him and had admitted to Manny being the better fighter, man and champion. Before Manny was interviewed, Oscar went to Manny where Manny told him that despite what happened tonight he (Dela Hoya) was still Manny’s idol whereas Oscar told Manny and I quote: “No, now YOU are my idol.”
This perhaps is a memorable night not just for the Philippines and Manny’s family but also in the Boxing Community as Manny Pacquiao defeated one of the legends of boxing, Oscar Dela Hoya.
Mabuhay Manny! Mabuhay Philippines!