. Manny Pacquiao earned praise as the "greatest fighter that ever lived" after his sensational second round TKO win over Britain's Ricky Hatton. Video courtesy of Solar Sports.
Marjorie Gorospe INQUIRER.net What was it like watching Manny Pacquiao battle Ricky Hatton? I was not in Las Vegas to witness the fight. We watched it via a live feed at the Mag.net Cafe located at the Bonifacio High Street. Thanks to Nike Philippines we saw the bout minus the barrage of advertisements seen on free TV. Watching it via a live feed was like watching it live. Fellow Filipinos cheered with every punch Pacquiao landed on the Briton. As expected, some people booed when Hatton entered the ring. I felt that same tension and anxiety before the fight started. During the pre-fight, we managed to talk to a British fan. He declared, "If Manny gets close to Hatton, he'll be dead." But as it turned out, the fight was too short. Still, Pacquiao was able to unleash 73 punches (Hatton had 18 landed). As witnessed by millions of viewers worldwide, Hatton got knocked out eventually in the last 10 seconds of the second round. Later, we saw the British fan whom we talked to earlier. His tone was now different. We approached him again to ask for his reaction. He jokingly declared, "He's the best! Manny for president." For a few hours leading to the fight, the country was in a standstill. We almost forgot that just a few days ago, we've been hit hard by news of the swine flu, now aptly called A (H1N1). As we recalled the day that has passed--and the reaction of those who watched the fight via live feed, it was clear that no matter where you are--in Las Vegas or in a roomful of fans watching the fight via satellite or cable--we all reacted the same way when we saw Pacquiao land that strong left hook to the jaw of Hatton. In fact, I almost broke a plate while filming the reaction of the Pacquiao fans at Mag.net cafe.
It was a quick fight that stunned everyone. The fight ended early as Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao knocks out Ricky "The Hitman" Hatton twice in the first round, and later permanently in the second round. British fans were left stunned, including the parents of the Briton fighter who flew all the way from Manchester to watch the fight, when Hatton kisses the floor. We saw the fight at the Mag.net cafe in High Street in Fort Bonifacio, courtesy of Nike Philippines. A large screen was set up and everyone were seated in little, comfortable plastic chairs. Iced tea was served and some pasta. But since we were too excited to see the fight, we hurriedly finished our meal and got ready to watch and live blog the event. (Good thing there was wi-fi). The crowd started trickling in at around 10 a.m. Some people clapped as Pacquiao was introduced. But as the round began, every punch that landed on Hatton came with grunts from the crowd, followed by loud cheers. People stood and cheered, some for Hatton, mostly for Pacquiao. Then came the right hook that sent Hatton to the floor. He was wobbly. He was obviously stunned. Meanwhile, the crowd at Mag.net was getting louder. Everybody stood as the Briton fighter went down twice in the first round. Second round came. It was a short battle. Amid the flurry of punches, Pacquiao was able to sneak in a powerful left hook to the jaw of Hatton that floored him permanently. That was the end of the fight. The parents of Hatton were stunned. The Filipino crowd went ecstatic, including those watching from Mag.net in High Street.
DID you know that Brian Viloria has been using Twitter to update fans and friends about his upcoming and concluded fight? Well, as of this writing, Viloria just sent a short message to all his Twitter followers: AND THE NEW..!!! I DID IT TWEEPS!!!! Followed by: "Need to get showered up and let the celebration begin!" Viloria is celebrating his victory over Solis whom he floored at the 11th round. Check out the breaking story here. An excerpt: (UPDATE) After struggling in the first round, Filipino-Hawaiian boxer Brian Viloria emerged as champ, as he knocked out Ulises Solis in the 11th round in the IBF light flyweight championship here at the Araneta Coliseum. Viloria who is also known as the “Hawaiian Punch” gave Solis a cut at the 5th round. Nonito Donaire also won by TKO in the 4th round in his fight with Raul "Cobra" Martinez.
The Company of Ateneo Dancers (CAD) won in the recent Nike Women Dance Battle held this weekend.
Excerpt: MAKATI CITY, Philippines--Clad in goddess-inspired outfits, the Company of Ateneo Dancers (CAD) grooved their way to the top and took home the grand prize in the Nike Women Dance Battle. “We’re really avant-garde to be different and unique,” said Steff Someda, a BS Biology student and team captain of CAD, in an interview during the contest held at A. Venue Saturday. “We put a lot of energy, belief, faith in ourselves and faith in God,” added Jesse Castillo, AB Arts Management student and co-dance head of CAD.Read the rest of the report here.
Tessa Salazar of the Philippine Daily Inquirer files this report. Excerpt:
Philippine racing legend Pocholo Ramirez died at 1:30 a.m. Wednesday after a long battle with cancer. He was 76. Ramirez earned driver of the year awards six times. In 2000, he was the Blaze Super Saloon Champion at the age of 68. Even after being diagnosed with urinary bladder cancer two and a half years ago, he still competed in local races. Up until he was 75, Ramirez would still be seen behind the wheel competing with racers less than half his age.Some fans of the racing legend have expressed their condolences.
Agence France-Presse SAN ANTONIO--Kobe Bryant scored 23 points as the Los Angeles Lakers clinched a playoff spot with a 102-95 win over the San Antonio Spurs. The Lakers also wrapped up the Pacific Division in the final rematch this season of the 2008 Western Conference finals. Tony Parker and Michael Finley led San Antonio with 25 points apiece. Drew Gooden made his Spurs debut after being signed a week ago, but played just 3 1/2 minutes, scoring two points and grabbing four rebounds. Lamar Odom had 12 points and 10 rebounds for Los Angeles in his return from a one-game suspension for leaving the bench during an altercation in Monday's loss to Portland. One day after ending Houston's 12-game home winning streak, the Lakers wrapped up their road trip by bringing San Antonio's three-game winning string to an end. The loss cut San Antonio's lead over the Rockets in the Southwest Division to two games, with the Spurs heading to Houston on Saturday. The Rockets play at Charlotte on Friday. Tim Duncan had 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Spurs. Trevor Ariza, who joined the Lakers' starting lineup this week, scored 10 points. Derek Fisher also added 10.
MANILA, Philippines—Former national women’s futsal team IROK Philippines is striking it out on their own as they join an international tournament in New Zealand this year. Head coach Emmanuel Batungbacal said the team is currently raising funds to compete again at the Vikings Futsal Cup this August. The team competed in last year’s tournament but placed at the bottom. They were able to beat host country New Zealand but lost closing games to stronger teams in Australia. “But we’re bringing in lots of experience and some new players with us this time,” Batungbacal told INQUIRER.net via a telephone interview. He expects teams from the United States and China to join the tournament this year. Despite budget constraints, Batungbacal steered the former national team to a rousing bronze medal finish at the 2007 Southeast Asian Games. Players however decided to quit the national team altogether after Batungbacal was sacked by Philippine Football Federation (PFF) chief Jose Mari Martinez. Since then, the team has renamed itself the IROK Philippines Futsal Club and has been raising funds through sponsorships and other means to finance their trips abroad. “We want to compete in other tournaments like the Five-A-Side in Australia but we have to take it one at a time because of limited funding,” Batungbacal said. The team was earlier slated to compete at this year’s Asian Indoor Games. But it was not able to join because the tournament is sanctioned by the PFF.
By Lawrence Casiraya INQUIRER.net MANDALUYONG CITY – For Dave Batista, more known for his moniker Batista, wrestling isn't all about brawny alpha males breaking each other's backs. Currently signed up with the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), Batista was quick to admit to the entertainment aspect of professional wrestling. "It's not really so much about the moves you do or stunts you perform. We're telling stories in the ring – who's the good guy and who's the bad guy," the four-time world heavyweight champion told INQUIRER.net in an interview. "We try to make it as dramatic as possible because that's what draws the crowd in and makes them emotionally invested in a wrestling match," he continued. Watch this video interview: Batista, who is half-Filipino, half-Greek, is in Manila promoting upcoming WWE events courtesy of local cable channel Jack TV. He was born David Michael Bautista Jr., and admitted to have been estranged from his father but grew up close his grandfather who passed away 10 years ago. "My devastatingly handsome good looks," he answered, jokingly, when asked what distinctively Filipino trait he got from his father side. "What I have always admired about my grandfather is that he was very driven. He was what you would call a hustler, a go-getter," he said. At six feet six, 290 pounds, Batista is all muscle but appeared relaxed and was laughing at times during the interview. He admits to having shifted from one job to another – including a disastrous stint as a club bouncer that led to him being arrested – before finally heeding the call of professional wrestling. He credits Ric Flair and teammate-turned-nemesis Triple H for his ascent as one of the most recognizable wrestlers around. "Being driven is what I would say I got from him [my grandfather]. I'm a living proof that dreams do come true," he declared. In many interviews and articles written about him, Batista admits to having lived the hard life, raised in the rough neighborhoods of Washington, D.C. Using his popularity, Batista said he has always preached the value of education to kids, the same way he has done to his two daughters. "I consider it to be one of the biggest regrets of my life," he said. "If I could, I'd probably be making a living off my mind and not beating myself to death." This is his third visit to Manila but admits not having done enough to explore his Filipino heritage. He sports a tattoo on one arm, an illustration that merges the flags of Greece and the Philippines into one. "If anybody here would research about me, I'd love to know about it. I'm pretty sure I have a lot of relatives here," he said.
Agence France-Presse CLOVIS--Police on Wednesday said they have recovered a one-of-a-kind bicycle swiped from Tour de France legend Lance Armstrong at a northern California racing venue. A person brought the purloined Trek training bicycle to a police station in the city of Sacramento, where it was stolen during the weekend. The person's name was not released by police, who said the investigation of the theft is ongoing. Police said they returned the bicycle to Armstrong, who competed Wednesday in the Tour of California. The seven-time Tour de France champion had used the bicycle Saturday at a rain-pelted, wind-pounded opening of the 750-mile race that continues through the week. Armstrong's bicycle was one of several stolen from an Astana team truck parked behind a hotel in Sacramento. A lock on the truck was clipped to get inside, according to police. Armstrong on Sunday sent out a rallying cry to the more than 128,000 Twitter members signed up to receive brief text messages he routinely fires off on the popular micro-blogging service. A Facebook group called "1 Million Citizens Looking for Lance Armstrong's Stolen Bike" had grown to 1,282 members by the time word of the Trek's return hit the Internet on Wednesday. While there was no obvious link between the bicycle's return and Internet forces rallying to Armstrong's aid, online campaigns helped make life tough for the thief or thieves, said Sergeant Norm Leong of the Sacramento police force. "All the technology involved really kept the story alive and moving," Leong said. "It was clear that most of the people in the community were looking for this bike. It makes it hard to transport the thing; you can't ride it or sell it...it is that hot of an item." The man who delivered Armstrong's bicycle is not considered a theft suspect and no arrests had been made as of late Wednesday, according to the sergeant. Two other bicycles stolen from Armstrong's team were still missing. "Score one for the good guys," a Twitter user using the screen name 'kraftmstr' wrote as news of the Trek's return ricocheted about the website. Attention on Twitter swiftly shifted back to Armstrong's latest day in the saddle. "Watching Lance Armstrong gently shove an idiot into the snow on the roadside in the tour of California," Twitter user Pete Watson said in a message about what he was doing at the moment. "Falling over laughing - excellent." Cancer-survivor Armstrong, 37, retired in 2005 but has set out to make a comeback. The California race is his second on a comeback trail that started last month in Australia, where he finished 29th place in the Tour Down Under. Armstrong intends to compete in this year's Tour de France.