Pacquiao loses welterweight world title
Despite defeat of 'people's champ,' watching bout gives boost to evacuees, wounded veterans of siege of Marawi
Manny Pacquiao, the Philippines' "people's champ," lost the World Boxing Organization welterweight title to Australian boxer Jeff Horn in a unanimous decision in Brisbane, Australia Sunday.
"Pacquiao's loss in Brisbane will not diminish the honors he bestowed to the people and to the flag," said a statement issued by the office of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, who the boxer/senator supports.
The local government of the Lanao del Sur province provided a live stream of the fight for evacuees from the besieged city of Marawi.
Filipinos, both Muslim and Christians, are huge fans of Pacquiao, GMA News quoted Lanao del Sur Assemblyman Zia Alonto Adiong as saying.
"Being able to watch the Filipino champ fight live will help the evacuees forget about the unfortunate situation in Marawi for a while," he added.
"Despite what happened in Marawi, watching the fight made us happy even for a short time," an evacuee in the capitol told ABS-CBN News.
Wounded soldiers at a military hospital in Manila -- some in wheelchairs and crutches, some with amputated arms and legs -- who fought the Daesh-linked Maute group in Marawi also eagerly watched the boxing idol's bout.
The army made the fight available in the multi-purpose hall of Army General Hospital in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig, where 66 out of 208 patients are Marawi veterans.
Lt. Gen. Glorioso Miranda said he provided access to the fight to boost the morale of wounded soldiers and support the senator, who is also an army reservist.
Pacquiao dedicated the fight to the troops in Marawi.