LAS VEGAS – Manny Pacquiao felt right at home in his rematch against Timothy Bradley on Saturday night (Sunday, Manila time).
With almost 80 percent of the 15,601 crowd that packed the MGM Grand Garden Arena composed of Filipino fight fans, the 35-year-old southpaw from General Santos City admitted he felt like fighting on home soil.
“I’m very surprised because of the crowd. I feel like I’m in the Philippines,” he said after reclaiming the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight belt which Bradley took from him two years ago following a unanimous decision win in their 12-round rematch.
The predominant Pacquiao crowd chanted `Manny!’, `Manny!, `Manny!’ every time he was shown on the jumbotron during the undercard fights, while on his way to the ring, as he made his entry to the tune of Katy Perry’s hit single `Roar’, up to the time he would unnerve his American opponent with his lethal left or a series of combination.
Even non-Filipinos and American celebrities such as award-winning actor Jack Nicholson, and former NBA superstars Charles Barkley and Reggie Miller fully appreciated Pacquiao’s artistry inside the ring.
“Even the Mexicans, they rooted for me. Even the American people, they rooted for me. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it,” said Pacquiao, who earned a guaranteed $20 million from his latest career win.
Pacquiao is set to return to Los Angeles on Monday, although on when he’ll be coming back in the warm embrace of his countrymen has yet been set.