By now we know the story: Manny Pacquiao, one-time 8-division world boxing champion and Philippine Senator, hoped to recoup the shock unanimous-decision loss of 2017 to Jeff Horn in Australia by taking on Lucas Matthysse, who at the time has won the WBA (Regular) Welterweight championship belt from Tewa Kiram. On the buildup towards the July matchup, Pacquiao trained while Matthysse and his corner-men commented that not only would the Argentinian fighter retire Manny, but that he ran the chance of being hospitalized. Such threats evaporated following Pacquiao’s 7th-round TKO win last Sunday at Kuala Lumpur, and now the Fighting Pride of the Philippines is due another hot welcome when he comes home this Monday.
As PTV News tells us that following the Pacquiao vs. Matthysse “Fight of Champions” match in July 15 at Malaysia’s Axiata Arena, fighting Senator Manny Pacquiao will be hopping a morning flight from Kuala Lumpur and directly back to GenSan, with his plane expected to touch down this afternoon at General Santos City International Airport around 4 PM. It does not take a genius to realize that the city has prepared another Hero’s Welcome celebration for him, involving a motorcade through the streets and everything.
Preparations for the welcome were overseen by the assistant head for the City Sports and Games Development Division, Lady Manalo. Said preparations have been underway since last week, well ahead of the fight with Lucas Matthysse, inferring that Manny, the “Favorite Son” of all GenSan, will be getting that welcome regardless of the outcome of the match. The proceedings will be routine at this point, with Manny receiving arrival honors at the GSCIA tarmac by honor guards from the local PNP and Army units. He will likely be joined by GenSan Mayor Ronnel Rivera, who flew to Kuala Lumpur to watch the epic match Sunday.
Following that, a specially prepared float will then convey Manny – with Mayor Rivera tagging along – from the airport and through the city’s main thoroughfares, passing through Barangay Labangal where he grew up and is the staunchest bulwark of his fan supporters in GenSan. The hero’s welcome will then proceed with another meet-and-greet with fans at one of GenSan’s major shopping malls, although the press release has not identified which one. It has also not been ascertained how long Manny will remain here in GenSan before returning to Manila and his duties in the Philippine Senate.
Manny Pacquiao heraled the greatest return to his prime form last Sunday when he knocked down Argentina’s Matthysse a total of three times, first in Round 3, second in Round 5, and ultimately in Round 7 when the referee finally declared a technical knockout victory.
Image courtesy of Forbes