BOTH serious and casual followers of Manny Pacquiao were left impressed by his return from retirement after his victory against Mexican opponent Jessie Vargas last Sunday.
One of the hundreds of people who watched the bout was longtime newspaper sports editor Lito Tacujan of the Philippine Star.
"Iniisip ko ngang ulo (headline)- ‘The Legend Grows,’" the veteran newsman told SPIN.ph after watching the screening of the pay-per-view fight sponsored by Solar Sports at the SM North Cinema in Quezon City.
“They’re thinking of two more fights - a Juan Manuel Marquez and a Floyd Mayweather - but you cannot go through the welterweight line dahil andaming magagaling talaga.”
On whether Vargas was not a worthy opponent for the senator-sportsman, Tacujan responded, “Well (Vargas) was the champion pero parang kulang.”
Tacujan pointed out that Vargas never fought somebody like Pacquiao. “It’s an entirely different fight that he got himself into. Iba ang level, nagulat siya. ‘(Manny’s) strong!’ ang sabi niya!”
Other fans were left impressed.
“Okay naman. Bumalik yung dati niyang speed," said Robert Ballesteros, visibly impressed by Pacquiao’s performance as a 37-year old returning to the ring after a short retirement. "Lalong bumilis at lumakas.”
Hundreds of Pacquiao fans who cheered as he was announced the victor emerged from the cinema with smiles on their faces, one in saying the champion fighter from Sarangani looked good in the ring.
Cecilia Morales said she watches Pacquiao’s every fight as part of the pay-per-view crowd.
“Akala ko nga matatalo pero okay kasi ilan beses din (ni Manny) napabagsak (si Vargas),” said the 69-year old retired teacher, who was accompanied to the fight by a neighbor. “Nung nakita ko nang medyo duguan na, ang sabi ko, “Ah wala na.”
The self-confessed fan said it was okay for Pacquiao to retire since he has no problems with money but she admires the way the Filipino champion donates a portion of his winnings to countrymen in need.
“Malakas pa din. Kung kinakailangan puede pa.”