REPORT: RETURNING BOXING CHAMP GREETED BY CHEERS DESPITE RAINS

MANILA
, September 16, 2005 
(STAR) Boxing champion Manny Pacquiao returned home Friday to a hero's welcome and a parade in the streets of Manila despite the pouring rain.

Pacquiao recently gained acclaim again after he bagged the World Boxing Council super featherweight crown by beating Mexican Hector Velasquez in Los Angeles, California, on Saturday (Sunday in Manila).

Pacquiao knocked out Velasquez at the sixth round at their 12-round championship at Staples Center in Los Angeles. He is now scheduled for a grudge rematch with Mexican Erik Morales early next year after the latter defeated him last March.

According to media reports, the boxing champ arrived at the Philippines just before dawn at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2. After a brief stop at Manila Hotel and a press conference at the Manila City Hall, Pacquiao and his team had a motorcade that took them to Tondo, Santa Cruz, Escolta and Sampaloc districts in Manila.

Despite the rains, fans of the boxing champion lined the road and cheered for their idol.

Pacquiao is scheduled for a courtesy call at the Palace despite the absence of President Gloria Arroyo. Pres. Arroyo is currently attending the Association of Southeast Asian Nations-United Nations (ASEAN-UN) Summit.

Big reception awaits Pacquiao today The Philippine Star 09/16/2005

Barring inclement weather, Manila will push through with the planned "championís motorcade" that Mayor Lito Atienza and other city officials prepared today for the reigning World Boxing Council (WBC) International Super Featherweight Champion Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao.

Pacquiao, who demolished Mexican Hector Velazquez in six rounds at the Staples Center Sunday, is listed in the passengersí manifest of the PR-103 flight arriving this morning, along with wife Jinkee and four other companions.

Manila residents, including loyal fans of Pacquiao, will line the route of a ticker-tape parade for the champion along major thoroughfares and inner city streets where the motorcade would pass.

According to the organizers of the event led by Manila Sports Council (MASCO) chairman Arnold "Ali" Atienza, the motorcade will start from city hall at 9:30 a.m. after a brief ceremony and will pass through the following streets: right at Natividad Lopez, left at San Marcelino, left at Ayala to Legarda, left at Recto, right at Delpan, left at Zaragosa, right at R-10, right at Moriones, left at Juan Luna, right at Tayuman, right at Abad Santos to Reigna Regente.

Mayor Atienza, who is leading the "championís welcome" with the theme Kampeon ng Maynila, Kampeon ng Bansa, enjoined Manilans to emulate Pacquiao who has again projected Filipinos as champions abroad.

Atienza also paid tribute to Rey Bautista and Brian Viloria who also won in their separate matches defeating Colombian Felix Murillo and Mexican Eric Ortiz, respectively.

Atienza added that the victory of the three Filipino boxers should serve as "a signal to each of us to unite and work together so that the real capabilities and potentials of our people would be realized."

Residents along these streets are expected to shower Pacquiao, an adopted son of Manila, with confetti for his latest feat in winning the WBC title from Mexican Hector Velazquez at the Staples Center in Los Angeles last Sunday.

Mayor Atienza, who is leading the "championís welcome" with the theme Kampeon ng Maynila, Kampeon ng Bansa, enjoined Manilans to emulate Pacquiao who has again projected Filipinos as champions abroad.

Atienza also paid tribute to Rey Bautista and Brian Viloria who also won in their separate matches defeating Colombian Felix Morales and Mexican Eric Ortiz, respectively.

Atienza added that the victory of the three Filipino boxers should serve as "a signal to each of us to unite and work together so that the real capabilities and potentials of our people would be realized."


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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