Sunday, June 17, 2012

Manila 2012: Pacquiao returns to help flood victims

LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 08:  Boxer Manny Pacquiao...LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 08: Boxer Manny Pacquiao (C) steps on the scale as Joel Diaz, Timothy Bradley's trainer, looks on during the official weigh-in for their bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on June 8, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pacquiao will defend his WBO welterweight title against Bradley on June 9 in Las Vegas. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
Manny Pacquiao returned to the Philippines on Saturday to help flood victims in his home province, a week after his loss to Timothy Bradley.

Pacquiao was showered with confetti Saturday, although his homecoming was much less festive than usual because of his split-decision loss in the welterweight title fight in Las Vegas.

He cut short a vacation with his family in the United States to help thousands of victims of floods that hit Sarangani province, the area he represents in congress.

''Let us forget what happened, let us accept it wholeheartedly for God has a plan for us,'' Pacquiao said at a news conference where men dressed as gladiators lined up as his honor guards.

Later, he told GMA television he had asked supporters to skip the traditional ''hero's welcome'' for him and instead focus on helping those affected by the floods. He said he has already sent relief supplies.

Pacquiao went to the Roman Catholic church in Manila's Quiapo district where he addressed worshippers, urging them to accept the judges' decision and shun anger.

Pacquiao's controversial loss has prompted one of boxing's major sanctioning bodies to review Bradley's victory, the first step toward what promoter Bob Arum hopes will be ''clarity'' in the judging of the fight.

WBO President Francisco ''Paco'' Valcarcel said in a statement this week that the WBO's championship committee will review video of the fight with five ''recognized international judges'' and make a recommendation. He said the WBO does not doubt the ability of the scoring judges.

Most observers thought Pacquiao had easily defended his welterweight title against Bradley.

Pacquiao interrupted his vacation with his family in the United States following the bout with Bradley to help thousands of victims of flash floods that hit his province.

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