After Typhoon Haiyan, the people of the Philippines need all the hope they can get. And on Nov. 24, their native son delivered at least a little, defeating Brandon Rios with an authoritative victory.
Thousands of Philippines natives celebrated for the first time since Typhoon Haiyan devastated the country on Nov. 9, as Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao convincingly defeated Brandon Rios in a boxing match in Macau on Nov. 24.
Manny Pacquiao Wins For His Home Country, The Philippines
“This is not about my comeback,” Pacquiao said in the ring after defeating Rios in a judges’ decision and reclaiming the WBO international welterweight title. “My victory is a symbol of my people’s comeback from a natural disaster and a national tragedy.”
He was right. For the first time since the storm that killed more than 5,000 people and left tons more homeless, the Philippines had something to cheer about. Thousands gathered in the plaza of Tacloban, the city that was hit worst, to watch the match and root for their native son.
“My journey will continue,” Pacquiao also said. “I said we will rise again, and that’s what happened.”
Manny Pacquiao’s Comeback
After two straight defeats, and a year off from boxing, many assumed that Pacquiao’s career was coming to an end. Even his own trainer expressed doubts about his future. But the authoritative victory over Rios beat back those thoughts at least for a little while.
A dream matchup against Floyd Mayweather Jr. still seems like it will never happen, but it’s still good to see that one of the greatest modern-day boxers still has some juice in the tank.
But like Pacquiao said, the Nov. 24 fight wasn’t about him; it was about instilling hope in the people of the Philippines.
— Andrew Gruttadaro