May 04, 2009
Manny Pacquiao really is a national institution. It seems like everyone in the Philippines congregates at arenas and malls to watch his fights. Filipinos literally live and die with his every move. Sadly, three people actually died the moment Pacman landed his huge left hook that knocked out Ricky Hatton.
According to the Inquirer, 64-year-old tricycle driver Francisco Lalongisip, 49-year old Vic Ocampo and 52-year-old farmer Rolando Cabang all had heart attacks as Pacquaio planted The Hitman.
Lalongisip, collapsed in his neighbor’s house at around noon, at the same time Pacquiao knocked Hatton down.
Ocampo, a resident of 1154 Casanas Street in the Sampaloc district, was watching the free showing of the live Pacquiao-Hatton match at the Dapitan Sports Complex along with other boxing fans when he collapsed at around 11:50 a.m., just as Pacquiao knocked out Hatton in the second round
Rolando Cabang fell to the ground gasping for air at the start of the second round.
The Pacquiao phenomenon is amazing in the Philippines. Many cities show his fights for free in the town's malls, theatres and stadiums. One report said the line to get into the stadium in Cavite City was nearly two miles long.
But there was also lots of anger from those who tried to watch it on television. GMA-7 showed the fight on a tape delayed basis but threw in so many commercials that many viewers already knew the result by the time Pacman pulled off his KO:
GMA-7, the official media partner of the Pacquiao-Hatton fight, finally aired the delayed telecast of the main event at 2:03 p.m., two hours after Pacquiao knocked out his opponent.
It began with celebrity Martin Nievera singing the Philippine National anthem then immediately cut to a rundown of nearly 30 major and minor sponsors.
The telecast noticeably skipped Tom Jones singing "God Save the Queen," Britain's national anthem, and (Jasmine Villegas') rendition of the United States anthem,"Star-Spangled Banner".
There were three commercial gaps before the telecast showed Pacquaio enter the arena.
Some gaps were as long as eight minutes and a portion of the introductions to the match lasted for only a minute before another commercial break.
Sources said the television network had to force in more commercials because the fight was sold as a minimum six rounder. When Pacman made it into a two rounder, the network was thrown for a loop.