Last Sunday, Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao solidified his claim to legendary status with a 2 round demolition of Ricky “Hitman” Hatton.
More than a week later, the Philippines is still on a high, and everyone is still talking about the fight. I just want to share with you how I spent that day, and how I witnessed history.
7:o0 am – Woke up and quickly changed into my new black Nike “Team Pacquiao” t shirt.
7:30 – I received a text from Mich, asking where we were, told him I was leaving at 8am. I had to laugh when he said he was at Greenhills already.
8:00- Picked up Noy in his house in San Juan. While waiting for him, I sat in and watched part of the game 7 Boston vs Chicago match which was into the 1st quarter. Scalabrine has a breakaway dunk, but nope, Derrick Rose swats it away. Wow!!!
8:15- Finally we leave for World Music in Greenhills. I wanted to get to the venue early so I can get good parking.
8:30-9:00 – Got good parking. Met up with Mich and we got our ticket stubs.We will be in Room #16. The 3 of us ordered the same thing, Salpicao Rice for breakfast and iced tea. The room size is ok. It ‘s very cold. It has a 42 inch plasma, which is showing preliminary fights.
9:10 – Food arrives. Medyo konti, pero masarap naman, is our sentiment.
9:30 -10:00 Nothing much happens, some preliminary fights are being shown, no exciting fights so far. Manny Pacquiao is shown arriving to the venue with wife Jinkee . It is very cold here in World Music.
10:10- Mark arrives with his girlfriend Ivy. Just in time because the main supporting bout is starting. Blue arrives with family in tow. The room is very cold.
10:45 – The main supporting bout is at the 8th round already. I estimate the main event will start in around 30 or so minutes. IT is still very cold.
11:00 – The ring is now filled with people. I can see the Philippine flag. HBO scans the audience for celebrities at ringside. Uuuy, its Marky Mark Wahlberg, it’s Jack Nicholson, d lang pala Lakers pinapanood nito. It’s that Chef Wolfgang guy, Mariah Carrey and husband.Jeremy Piven of Entourage is in the house. He is an unabashed Manny Pacquiao fan. Of course Oscar dele Hoya is watching, he even has a Hatton mask. The executioner Bernard Hopkins is also in attendance. Dami naman sikat. Here in World Music , the only celebrity we have is Alfrancis Chua, former PBA head coach. I actually bumped into him on the way to the restroom. I couldn’t resist and greeted him, “Hi kots,kamusta? ”
11:10 – Richard Buffer calls in Martin Nievera to sing the National Anthem. Wow, may minus 1 siya. Cool earphone monitors, they have the Filipino colors. Martin sang it well, d naman pumiyok. I didn’t like the arrangement though. I have a feeling maraming magre-react sa version niya.(Marami nga eventually) Anyway…….
11:15 – Richard Buffer calls in SIR Tom Jones to sing God save the Queen. It’s Tom Jones!!! I kind of expected his Acapella version of the song to suddenly morph into.. “You don’t have to be beautiful to be my girl,” then he would gyrate all over the place. Ladies would start throwing their underwear in the ring…….
11:20- A Hispanic/Latina girl is called in to sing US National Anthem. What’s up with that? Mukhang Pinay pa ata ito.Villegas apelido. D kaya apo ito ni Miniong?
11:30 – Ricky Hatton makes his way to the ring. He apparently has his own jingle/entrance theme song… wow. Rick Rick Ricky Hatton. Hah!!! Hintayin nila si Pacman. What shorts is he wearing? I can’t describe it. He looks like he borrowed it from Hector “Macho” Camacho.
11:45 – Pilipino, pilipino pilipino ako…. sila rock, tayo rock ballad. Pacman makes his way to the ring. He is smiling. He looks so calm, cool. Ang laking mama yung nasa likod niya, It’s WWE superstar Batista!!! Wow!!!! Do I sense a guesting in WWE soon? Floyd Mayweather actually fought a wrestler,” Big Show” at Wrestlemania. Batista and Pacman vs Big Show and Mayweather? tag team? Pacquiao is actually smiling as he enters the ring. He looks so relaxed and cool.
11:50 – The fighters are introduced. Lets get rrready to rrrrrrrrumble!!!! The tale of the tape is shown onscreen. Pacman actually has a reach advantage.
11:52 – The fight begins. Suddenly the room seems to be colder, but I am actually sweaty and nervous. Hatton is the aggressor. He is chasing Pacman across the ring. He is looking to brawl. So much for his strategy of dance and move. He is clinching and hitting on the break. Noy shouts “Walang ganyanan.” Pacman shakes his fists loosely at his sides, as if to say to Hatton, “Game Na!” Hatton charges in, a short right hook sends him down to the canvas. Knockdown #1. We are all shouting and screaming. Mich and Noy actually rush to the tv pointng at hatton and taunting him. I keep shouting P*%#@!!!! Hayop!!!! Even the girlfriend of Mark is standing up and shouting along with us. Hatton gets up. as soon as he does, Pacquiao goes in again. A barrage of punches sends Hatton down again for knockdown # 2. We are all shouting and screaming. The bell rings and mercifully saves Hatton.
11:55 – We are all shouting, cheering, whooping it up. We could her all the other guests at the other rooms, shouting as well. Slow mo replays show the 2 knockdowns. Hatton looks out of it. His cornermen are frantically trying to give him advice. We are all still in shock at how fast the fight has progressed so far. I am wondering how the local announcers, Chino Trinidad and Quinito Henson are calling the fight. Chino- “Pinabagsak ng pambansang kamao, ang isang Manny Pacquiao, ang briton na si Hatton.” Quinito-” I agree with you Chino, he was faster, swifter than ever.More pwerful than a locomotive. I remember the time that …..” Haaay, buti nalang international broadcasters sa broadcast namin.
11:56 – Pacquiao doesn’t immediately press Hatton, perhaps wary that he is playing possum. Hatton actually lands a good punch or two. Pacquiao is picking his spots. Hatton is cautious, but he has no snap to his punches. Manny keeps beating Hatton to the punch. “Ang bilis ng suntok ni Pacman,” someone from my group shouts to no one in particular. As the round is nearing to a close, it seems Hatton is recovering and Pacman may have lost momentum with 10 seconds to go in the round. Then it happens. A picture perfect left hook catches Hatton flush on the chin. Tiiiiiiiiiimbeeeeeeerr!!! Hatton falls like a log. The referee waives his hands. He doesn’t even count. It’s over. Manny jumps into his cornerman’s arms, then kneels by one of the cornerposts to pray. The tv shows Hatton being attended to. He looks really out. It’s like in the cartoons where you see birds chirping around you. Nakaka-awa actually. There is pandemonium here in Greenhills. High fives, man hugs, slaps on the shoulders, wow. That was quick. The slow motion replays shows the viciousness and power of the punch. Right on the button. He looked unconscious already when he hit the canvas.
12:15- I immediately call Janice to tell her the news. While talking to her on the phone an aspiring presidential candidate appears onscreen. Wow, hayop. Buti nga, walang audio. The coverage quickly shifts back to the ring. Some 2 to 3 minutes later, the same video of the politician is shown again. Ha!! Buti nga, la parin audio. I can actually hear people from the other rooms cursing him. Mukhang nag backfire ang plano niya. Ooops.
12:25pm – Mario Lopez (Why him? Is it because he came from a show “Saved by the Bell?) is going to interview Pacman. “I mean you know.. is all I remember from Pacman.” He talks to Freddie Roach. Roach promptly tels him, “I wasn’t surprised by the outcome.'”Bob Arum, boldly states, Manny Pacquiao is the best of all time.”
12:35pm – Hatton leaves the ring. The British gallery has stopped singing of course. Referee Kenny Bayless raises Pacquioa’s hands. Buffer announces him as the NEW Ibo World Jr. welterweight champion , and pound for the pound the best in the world. Floyd Mayweather jr must be regretting his decision to come out of retirement.
12:45 – The group says their farewells and goodbyes. Noy, Mich and I decide to celebrate Pacman’s victory over lunch. Where? Le Ching tea house. Spareribs rice with beef brisket sauce, Hakaw, chicken feet and siopao. Yahoo. Perfect ending to a perfect day. remember, no hitting below the belt. You know………..
Side story: I bought this “Manny Pacquiao” shirt from Spoofs. Just wanted to show it to you guys. Available in all major malls. Get one, I am sure it will be a collectors item.