MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) - Filipino boxing champ Manny Pacquiao defended Monday his controversial majority decision win over Mexican challenger Juan Manuel Marquez, saying not every victory in the ring will be easy.
"Siguro nasanay lang siguro ang ibang kababayan natin na laging panalo na one-sided. Siyempre hindi naman parating ganun. May mga time din na mananalo tayo pero by close fight at kailangan alam natin yun na kasama sa boxing yun. Hindi lahat ng panalo ko madadali," he told ABS-CBN's "Umagang Kay Ganda."
(Maybe some of our countrymen are used to victories that are one-sided. Of course that won't happen all the time. There will be times when we win but it will be a close fight and that's part of boxing. Not all of my victories are easy.)
Pacquiao said he didn't expect Marquez to keep moving backwards during the bout, waiting for the attack so he could counterpunch.
Persistent leg cramps also hindered the Filipino boxer's movement during the match. He said the cramps started early in the bout and worsened starting in the 4th round.
"I was out of balance because my old illness, leg cramps, came back. My in and out, my footwork was gone. I am not sure, maybe it is over training. I trained 10 weeks for this fight. In my other bouts, I only trained 8 weeks," he said in Tagalog.
Despite the difficulties, the boxing champ said he still believes he won the fight after watching a replay of the match.
He said he did not immediately raise his hand after the fight because he went to his corner to pray, as is his usual custom after every bout.
Pacquiao said he is willing to give Marquez a rematch anytime but will not challenge the Mexican after defeating him in their last 2 bouts.
"Gusto ko pa rin makalaban kung gusto niya...Pangit naman kung ako pa ang maghamon," he said.
He added that he would be willing to face undefeated boxing champ Floyd Mayweather Jr., hopefully by May 2012.
Boos are new to Pacquiao
Meanwhile, a report from ABS-CBN correspondent Dyan Castillejo said Pacquiao was clearly affected by the boos of Mexican fans who believed Marquez won the bout. "It's not the way he wanted to win. He's definitely not used to that. It's a different feeling for him," she said.
She said the boxer confided that his timing was off because of cramps on his left leg "in the shin area." Even coach Freddie Roach said the Pinoy boxer did not have the best night in the ring.
Nevertheless, Pacquiao said he won because he had the more solid punches and telling blows as shown in the Compubox statistics.
Castillejo said Pacquiao skipped the usual post-fight revelry since he had to get 28 stitches on a deep cut on the forehead.
She said the boxer had a lot of time alone reading the bible, praying and spending time with wife, Jinkee. The boxer also heard Mass after the fight.