Nation stands still as Pacman pummels Barrera
Legazpi City (10 October) -- Fans across the country were thrilled on Sunday after boxing hero Manny Pacquiao beat Mexican Marco Antonio Barrera in a grudge match that brought much of this Southeast Asian nation to a standstill. President Macapagal-Arroyo led the chorus of congratulations, immediately issuing a statement from the palace congratulating the Filipino boxing hero dubbed as "pambansang kamao."
"Manny Pacquiao once again buoyed the nation's spirit with his excellent fighting form and indominatable spirit," President Arroyo said.
Around the Philippines, guns fell silent as the military temporarily halted its campaign against Islamic militants in the south to watch the fight, which was beamed live via satellite from Las Vegas to national army headquarters.
Many streets were nearly empty as bus drivers stopped work to watch, while construction workers at a building in Manila's Makati financial district called a special lunch break to enable workers to cheer their hero.
Barrera, considered one of Mexico's greatest fighters, was out to avenge a humiliating 2003 loss to Pacquiao.
But the Filipino star again dominated him with superior hand speed and harder punches. All three judges gave the decision to Pacquiao by a wide margin. (PIA-5) [top]