Philippine boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao’s controversial defeat to Timothy Bradley in the WBO welterweight fight may be a test of faith for him since God may be testing him, Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia said yesterday.
Leonardia, who flew in from Las Vegas, yesterday told reporters that Pacquiao has become more religious. He said he also believes Pacquiao’s defeat was a blessing because more people sympathize with him and he has become even more popular, he said.
After the fight Pacquiao told his family and friends who were with him in the locker room not be sad but to rejoice and be happy because God may have a better plan than theirs, Leonardia said. He also thanked God for all His blessings, he said.
Leonardia said Pacquiao considered the defeat as part of the game so they should accept it. He thanked everyone for their support and felt happy even if he lost the fight, saying “We rejoice because we are winners in God’s sight.”
Pacquiao said he respects the decision of the judges although he knows 100 percent that he won the fight, Leonardia said, adding that everybody agrees with him.
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, on the other hand, said boxing is a form of business or livelihood. “But we saw what really happened there and in our hearts, we know that Pacquiao won,” he said.
It was not even a close fight, unlike the Juan Manuel Marquez bout. Everyone was surprised with the result including foreign experts in boxing, he added.
Trillanes said “Let us not recognize Bradley as the champion so he will not be dignified.”
He believes the rematch may not even push through if protests continue to mount, he said.
Meanwhile, Leonardia said maybe they want another fight so if Pacquiao wins, there will be another rematch so there will be more income.
He said one Filipino told him to tell Pacquiao to announce his retirement to punish Las Vegas. There were analysis in the past that without Pacquiao, business in Las Vegas will suffer because of the income that is generated by his presence, he added.
Leonardia said that after the fight Pacquiao left for Israel with his family and some pastors. However, before the fight, American Idol runner-up Jessica Sanchez paid a call on him, he said.*CGS