CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- It was unusually quiet in Pampanga during a usually busy Sunday afternoon as hundreds of boxing fans were glued on their television sets or huddled along free live pay-per-view in some congested venues to watch the match between Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao and Ghanian Joshua "The Hitter" Clottey.
Kapampangans in Mexico and Angeles City were seen watching the free live wide-screen real-time results of the games in public venues sponsored by Mayors Teddy Tumang and Francis “Blueboy” Nepomuceno.
Also spotted doing the rounds of free views was Vice Mayor Vicky Kabigting, as she told Sun.Star Pampanga that she was visiting some 40 sites with televisions set up by mayoralty aspirant Ed Pamintuan for Angeleños to watch the fight dubbed the "The Event."
Tristan Villanueva, 19, a student in a university in Angeles City, said the free viewing has become more popular than the commercially-laden broadcast of the fight if viewed in free channel television.
“This is free and we can see the results way faster than free television,” Villanueva said, not failing to notice the posters of some aspiring politicians hanging near the event area were the free viewing was held.
Villanueva said it has now become more popular among politicians to sponsor free viewing of the Pacquiao fights.
Businesses too have felt the effects of the Pacquio fight.
In Sta. Rita and Guagua towns, the usually packed pool resorts of Vista Verde and Villa Asusena were lacking of the usual patrons.
Nestor Lansang of Vista Verde Resort told Sun.Star Pampanga that they usually host some 100 to 200 pool goers on Sundays.
During Sunday’s fight, however, the pool resort only accommodated some 30 swimmers.
“The Pacquiao fight has placed our business on a stand-still in just one day. We understand, Pacquiao is fighting for the country and our pride as a people,” Lansang said in vernacular.
Over in this city, folks huddled in television sets set up by their neighbors in garages and porches, hooked up live through cable TV, said they were "quite disappointed" on how the fight turned out.
"We were expecting an eight-round knockout. But the fight turned out to be a little flat and boring," said an aficionado.
The scene of light pedestrian and vehicular traffic was noticeable, as with half filled supermarkets and restaurants that are normally teeming with people on a Sunday.
Sun.Star Pampanga tried to reach police officials in this city for updates but they said no reports of crimes have yet been reported, if any, at various community police assistance centers.
Pacquiao retained his WBO welterweight title with scores of 120-108, 119-109 and 119-109 from the three judges Saturday (Sunday in Manila) at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas amid loud shouts of local spectators here in the city who took time to stop from their daily routine to watch their boxing champion’s fight. (IOF/With JTD)