GENSAN PREPARES HERO’S WELCOME FOR PACQUIAO
GENERAL SANTOS CITY -- The city government is preparing a hero's welcome for "fighting senator" Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao when he returns home this week from his successful World Boxing Association(WBA) welterweight title defense in Las Vegas.
City Mayor Ronnel Rivera said they are working on the arrangements for the homecoming of the city's "favorite son", which was initially reported to return to the country on Tuesday (January 22).
"We are very fortunate because our people's champ won again. So we will wait and will give him the best hero's welcome," Rivera told reporters after Sunday's fight.
Pacquiao, who hails from Barangay Labangal here, was last given a grand hero's by the city when he wrested the WBA title in July last year from Argentinian Lucas Matthysse in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
In his first title defense at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Sunday, Pacquiao dominated his American challenger, Adrien Broner, to retain the crown via unanimous decision.
His latest triumph was witnessed by thousands of residents who availed of the free live viewing offered by the local government at the city gymnasium.
Rivera, a close political ally of Pacquiao, said it is only fitting for the entire city to celebrate the latter's latest triumph.
The mayor said the senator's victory affirmed that the city "is indeed home of the champions."
Despite turning 40 years old last December, he said Pacquiao showed that he can still fight and not slow down.
"Although he is 40 years old, he feels like he is 25. His opponent is younger by 11 years and he dominated him in the entire fight," he added. (PNA)
Photo from Getty Images/Sporting News