Fans claim Pacquiao was robbed
Shocked Filipinos are claiming "highway robbery" after Manny Pacquiao lost to Timothy Bradley on Saturday.
Pacquiao was stunned by the American challenger, losing his first bout in seven years and losing his WBO welterweight title in their bout in Las Vegas.
From the chaotic slums to the swanky sports bars of Manila, Filipinos looked on in horror as Bradley ended Pacquiao's 15-fight winning streak.
Pacquiao hurt Bradley on several occasions, particularly with his straight left, but did not get the knockout he was hoping for.
"This is clearly highway robbery," senator Jose Estrada, who was at ringside in Las Vegas, told a Manila radio station. "Pacquiao clearly had more hits."
For 37-year-old labourer Raphael Raboy, the loss meant losing a few hundred pesos on a bet, though he shared Estrada's sentiments.
"He is still our champion," Raboy said as he and his friends left a park in suburban Marikina, where live television coverage of the fight was shown.
The crowd was shocked into silence, before erupting into boos and flashing the thumbs down to show their displeasure.
President Benigno Aquino sought to console the public, stressing that Pacquiao remained a treasured sporting icon despite the loss.
"Manny Pacquiao failed to defend the WBO welterweight belt against Timothy Bradley, but the Filipino people's support for their champion remains strong as ever," Aquino’a spokeswoman, Abigail Valte, said in a statement.
"Manny is still our one and only people's champ; and we are proud of him."
Pacquiao is considered a national treasure in the Philippines, where he has translated his sports fame into huge riches, a movie career and election to parliament.
He is also a reservist army colonel and a self-proclaimed Bible ambassador after saying early this year God had visited him in his dreams and told him to follow a righteous path.
Sunday's bout was the first time that his wife Jinkee and their children were at ringside to cheer him on.