Not as many people watched Pacquiao-Bradley fight in GenSan
GENERAL SANTOS CITY — Less people trooped to public showings of Manny Pacquiao’s second victory over Timothy Bradley on Sunday, in this city.
At the General Santos City gymnasium in Barangay Lagao here, there were rows and rows of empty seats.
Unlike in the past, only about 2,000 people filled the 3,500-capacity gymnasium for the Pacquiao-Bradley fight.
Even outside the gymnasium, where TV sets were put up in anticipation of people not being able to enter the gym, the crowd was not as large.
There were three reasons why many people were not drawn to the public showing of Pacquiao’s fight:
* Many people still had a hangover with Pacquiao’s loss to Floyd Mayweather and they did not think Pacquiao’s bout with Bradley would be exciting;
* It was too hot at the gymnasium; and
* They did not know that there were live showings.
“A lot of people did not know that there would be live streaming. Only a few tickets were distributed. I myself only learned about the live streaming today,” Banjo, a Pacquiao fan and neighbor in Barangay Tambler, said.
Leticia Serranes, 39, said she tried to bring along some neighbors but they told her they were not coming because “the fight will not be exciting.”
“They were wrong,” Leticia, who was among those seen jumping for joy each time Pacquiao hit Bradley, said.
Sebastian Madulo, a tricycle driver, was among those who watched the live feed at the Lagao gym, saying he did not mind losing income for the day.
Like Leticia, he said many people believed it was a waste of time to watch the fight because they had seen Pacquiao and Bradley’s two fights already. “It wouldn’t be any different, they said.”
“But if it had been Mayweather, I believe the city will ground to a halt once more and people will have difficulty squeezing into the gym,” Madulo said.
Tony Castro, another fan, said he observed a slowdown in Pacquiao’s fight.
“He was not as brisk as before. Maybe it’s because of his age,” he said.
But Castro said he would not like Pacquiao to retire from boxing so soon and that he should face Mayweather once more.
“I believe that would be a great revenge for Pacquiao,” he said.
Mayor Ronnel Rivera, who watched the fight inside the Lagao gym, said people opted to go elsewhere – such as the Manny Pacquiao gym in Tambler – because of busted aircon.
“The temperature outside is soaring and it is worst here inside,” Rivera said.
He said people also possibly watched in their homes and in establishments that offered pay-per-view.
The temperature in the city as of 11 a.m. was 93◦F
Rivera said in his opinion, Pacquiao should not retire after his fight with Bradley.
“No, it should not be the last,” he said.
But Rivera would not say who should be Pacquiao’s next opponent.
Meanwhile, he said the city would prepare a hero’s welcome for Pacquiao for bringing more pride to the country.
“This is not just his win but ours, as Filipinos, too,” he said.
But other fans said Pacquiao should make true his promise that his fight with Bradley would be his last.
“He had floored Bradley on the 9th round but he had lost his power already. I think he should now think of retiring. His retirement will be a gain for us because he can serve us more, especially if he wins as senator,” Jimmy Taud, a resident of Sarangani province, said.
Bradley had fallen head first and tumbled during that round, which caused the crowd to shout and jump for joy.
Asked if he favored a Mayweather rematch if Pacquiao decided to stay in boxing after the Bradley fight, Taud said he might agree.
“It will be a vindication for him if he faces Mayweather again and wins. I believe that Mayweather was not a good fighter and that he only won by technical decision,” Laud said.
But elsewhere in Mindanao, there was less interest in the fight. The streets had the usual Sunday traffic, with public utility vehicle drivers plying their routes.
Rey Egos of Bansalan, Davao del Sur said he would not watch the fight.
“Why would I watch the fight of the person who called us gays worse than animals?,” Egos asked.
Jun Morales, village chair of Kapatagan in Sta. Cruz town in Davao del Sur, said the prolonged drought took a toll on boxing fans who would have watched the Pacquiao-Bradley fight.
“The pay-per-view fee is at P999. People can’t afford that. They would rather buy rice,” Morales said, adding that most local officials were busy with efforts to put off the forest and grass fire in Mt. Apo.
Presidential aspirant Rodrigo Duterte said Manny Pacquiao “once more” did the Filipinos proud.
“I hope he will find time to concentrate on his political career. He has nothing to prove anymore,” Duterte said in a statement.
“He is a true champion in the hearts of the Filipino people,” Duterte added.
In Tagum City, habal-habal (motorcycle-for-hire) driver Diomy Sumangyay, said Pacquiao’s fight was no longer exciting.
“It’s now just for the money. He doesn’t fight for the title anymore,” Sumangyay said, adding that Pacquiao’s loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. last year was an indication the Filipino boxer-politician was on the “decline.”
Sumangyay said he would rather ply his route than waste time watching the Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley tiff. “I might watch the replay though,” the driver said. (With reports from Orlando Dinoy, Frinston Lim, Inquirer Mindanao) SFM
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Click here for more weather related news.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.