Filipino boxing sensation Manny Pacquiao attended a thanksgiving Mass Sunday morning and spent time with fans in Las Vegas to celebrate his spectacular two-round demolition of British fighter Ricky Hatton on Saturday.
Team Pacquiao members decided not to hold the Mass in Manny’s hotel suite but instead moved the venue to a function room at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. They said the new venue was an added precaution to prevent Pacquiao from contracting any illness, particularly the AH1N1 influenza virus.
After the Eucharistic celebration, “The People’s Champ” spent an hour and a half with Pacman supporters who got the chance to talk to him, get his autograph and have pictures taken with him.
“He doesn't seem to get tired. He had little sleep but he was gracious enough to spend time with his fans," reported ABS-CBN reporter TJ Manotoc.
The night before, Pacquiao hosted his victory party at the Mandalay Bay Beach Area. Filipinos from Vegas, California, the Philippines and other parts of the US jammed, partied and reveled with their “Pambansang Kamao (National Fist).”
Manny even sang a few songs with his band and songwriter Lito Camo.
He said Pacquiao was especially thankful to supporters who watched the fight live despite being outnumbered by Hatton fans at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Manotoc said Pacquiao has yet to decide when to go back to the Philippines. He said some Team Pacquiao members said the People's Champ could leave for the Philippines on May 6 and arrive May 8.
From Vegas to LA
From Las Vegas, Team Pacquiao left on a ten-car convoy to go to the historic Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles.
Manotoc said Manny rode a Cadillac Escalade while his ten-car convoy followed suit, with the Team Pacquiao bus trailing them.
“The Pacman” is expected to arrive at the Wild Card Gym Monday (Tuesday in Manila). Manotoc noted that it has been a tradition for Pacquiao to go to the Wild Card Gym two days after a fight to show his gratitude to the entire team who helped in the training camp.
He is also set to have a meet and greet session with LA-based fans.
An official after fight party will also be held Monday night in LA (Tuesday in Manila) at the Conga room of LA Live, which is across the Staples Center.
Pacquiao, Black-Eyed Peas member apl.de.ap and Pacquiao's close friend, singer-composer Lito Camo, are among the performers who will sing at the LA party. —with a report from TJ Manotoc, ABS-CBN News