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Pacquiao Surprises Hernandez, Wins By Split Decision


PhilBoxing.com




LAS VEGAS, NV—Bobby Pacquiao showed millions of fans around the world that the fighting heart that beats in him is as big as his brother Manny’s by scoring a dramatic split decision over former world champion Carlos Hernandez Saturday at the Thomas and Mack Center here.

Pacquiao started out strong in the first, scored a knockdown in the second round, won the fifth and had to rally in the last three rounds of the 10-round contest to get the nod of judges Duane Ford (95-93) and Chuck Giampa (95-94). The third judge, Robert Hoyle, gave Pacquiao the first and second round and awarded the rest to the American-El Salvadorian Hernandez, 97-92.

Before a sellout crowd that saw Jose Luis Castillo shock WBA and WBO champion Diego Corrales by a fourth round knockout in the aborted title fight, the younger Pacquiao endured a ferocious body attack and had to summon his vast reserves of strength brought about by a rigorous training regimen to score the biggest victory of his life.

“Nagpapasalamat ako unang-una sa Diyos at inaalay ko ang panalong ito sa aking pamilya, sa aking mga kapwa Filipino, sa mga kaibigang tumulong sa akin at sa aking coach (Freddie Roach),” said Pacquiao, close to tears.

“Hindi ko ininda ang sakit. Marami akong sakit na naranasan sa ensayo at sa sparring kaya bale-wala iyon sa akin. Kailangan ko talagang ipanalo itong laban na ito para sa aking future at saka para sa bayan kong Pilipinas,” he added.

A predominantly Latino crowd showed shock and disbelief when the verdict was announced in this tightly-fought match that saw Hernandez scoring mainly in the final 30 seconds of every round to steal some of the rounds in the judges’ scorecards.

Both protagonists showed puffy faces and aching bodies in a toe-to-toe battle that was well-applauded by fans. Roach even had to abandon pre-fight plans of boxing Hernandez, instructing Pacquiao to give all he’s got and fight his own game. Two judges, Giampa and Hoyle, gave the ninth round to Hernandez, setting up a winner-take-all 10th round which Pacquiao won on two of the judges’ scorecards (Giampa and Ford.)

“Masayang-masaya ako sa pagka-panalo ni Bobby at ito na ang pinakamalaking break na aming hinihintay,” said Manny Pacquiao, the three-time world champion who is undoubtedly the most popular boxer who came out of the Philippine boxing scene. Pacquiao is now the new manager of his brother and is the biggest man behind the resurgence of his brother.

“Pahinga muna si Bobby. He deserves it. Saka na lang namin ia-announce ang plano namin para kanya. Definitely, mas malalaking laban na ang nakahanda para sa kanya,” said the equally ecstatic Manny, the “Pacman.”

Pacquiao, who had a so-so record before winning his last three fights in America, improved to 26-11-3 (11 KOs) while the mild-mannered Hernandez might have seen the last fights of his storied career come to a screeching halt after back-to-back losses.

“Hindi ko madedescribe kung gaano ako kasaya ngayon, lalung-lalo na dahil dalawa na ang Pacquiao na dapat nilang paghandaan sa ring at sa super-featherweight division,” said Bobby, who was beside his ever-supportive wife Lorelie.

Pacquiao received the biggest paycheck of his career but at the same time earned the respect of everyone including many disbelievers. With his brother shouting instructions and egging him on from the corner, Bobby showed the world that the Pacquiaos had the winning bloodline of champions.

“Bobby is still a young man who can change and improve a lot. I will not be surprised if he could become as famous as his brother Manny in the future,” said Roach, who was supported by his able cornermen Buboy Fernandez, assistant trainer, and Justin Fortune, the strength and conditioning coach.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Winchell Campos.


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