Feb 4, 2006
Manny Pacquiao vs. Erik Morales
The first time Manny Pacquiao (Pak-eee-yow) boxed Erik Morales, he lost by decision after twelve of the greatest rounds of fighting ever. But at the January 20, 2006 rematch at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, it only took TEN of the greatest rounds of fighting ever for Pacquiao to win by TKO.
The two knockdowns in the 10th were the first times Morales had ever been down in his career. EVER. The Thomas & Mack was ROCKIN’ after that. Well at least half of it was. The Mexican contingent quieted down a bit. To say the Mexicans in the crowd were really really really loud would still be an understatement (and that’s 3 “really’s”).
I was in the crowd with Son of Gigan. We were in Vegas specifically for the fight--that’s not to say we didn’t do the Vegas thing--but this is about the fight. After getting to the stadium and enduring the gayest-sardine-pickle-party-ever just to use the bathroom (the men’s room line was like 7 or 8 deep at each urinal), we finally found our seats on the second level. We were far back, but not so far that we needed binoculars. Plus, we could see everything fine on the big screen.
The crowd itself was polarized. Basically the entire town of Tijuana was in attendance to root for Morales. And if you weren’t Mexican, you were rooting for Pacquiao. The Mexicans were rumbling and chanting the entire night -- but when the Pacquiao crowd would start yelling, the sound was deafening. Oh yeah... and the ladies? Man, if you ever get a chance to go see a fight in Vegas, do it. I’ve never seen so many hot women pretending to like boxing in my life.
All ten rounds of the fight had some sort of incredible exchange of fist fury. But as the match went on, you could see Morales wearing down while Pacquiao actually seemed to get faster and hit harder. It was like the Filipino People’s Power movement had risen once again and crossed the Pacific to empower Manny Pacquiao.
That’s right. I went there. I brought up Ninoy Aquino.
After the fight, Son of Gigan and I hung out to watch Pacquiao celebrate in the ring for awhile. I understand the entire country of the Philippines got to watch the fight for free at home, on giant public screens, and even in movie theaters.
Hanging out proved to be a mistake because by the time we got outside to stand in the taxi line, there were people lined up around the stadium. But here’s where we got a little lucky - some guy had brains to call a shuttle bus that cost $200, he charged $10 a head for a ride to Venetian. SoG and I jumped on board and headed back to the strip to celebrate. And by “celebrate,” I mean, “we went our separate ways for a few hours.”
To find out a little more about our Vegas adventure, jump on over and read The evil that men do at my blog.
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