LAS VEGAS — Twenty-four hours after being involved in one of the foulest decisions in the history of boxing, Manny Pacquiao preached forgiveness and acceptance before a religious congregation.
Clad in an all-white outfit, Pacquiao was animated and talked with the clarity and conviction of a pastor as he addressed members of the Jesus is Lord movement at the Riviera Hotel here - not once showing any sign of bitterness over the bum verdict in the fight against Tim Bradley.
“Buong puso nating tanggapin ng desisyon ng mga hurado. Huwag tayong magtanim ng sama ng loob dahil magkakasala lang tayo,” said the 33-year-old ring idol to the cheers of the crowd of more than 1,000 led by Bro. Eddie Villanueva, head of the JIL and a former presidential candidate.
Pacquiao's split-decision loss has been met with a storm of protests from fans who felt the eight-time world champion was robbed of a victory. The controversy has become a trending topic on social networking sites and a favorite topic of conversation elsewhere.
There was not even a whimper of protest from Pacquiao as he spoke in the group's “Meet The Champion” convention.
“Alam ko po binabantayan tayo ng mga tao na huwag magkasala in the way I think, the way I feel, and the way I act di ba,” said Pacquiao, to which the audience shouted “Amen!”
“Girls, drinking, gambling. That’s the life of the old Manny Pacquiao,” said the billionaire boxer during his testimony.
His recent transformation, according to Pacquiao, made it easy for him to forgive people who wronged him, including those responsible for his first loss in a 16-fight stretch spanning seven years.
It was Villanueva who sounded more combative, saying justice must be served after Pacquiao suffered what he called an “incredible decision” on Saturday (Sunday, Manila time).