MANILA, Philippines – Filipinos mourned after Filipino ring icon Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao was sensationally knocked out by his Mexican rival Juan Manuel Marquez in their fourth encounter, but remained proud of the eight-division champion.
After battling three times, with each fight ending in controversial decisions, Marquez finally earned a decisive victory over his rival.
In round six, the two fighters exchanged in toe-to-toe action, though Pacquiao got the better of the exchanges. But in a pivotal moment, Marquez caught an incoming Pacquiao with a perfect right hand that sent the Filipino to the canvas.
The official time of the knockdown was 2:59 of the sixth round. It was the first time that Pacquiao lost by knockout since 1999.
On social media, Filipinos were shocked over Pacquiao's defeat, but were also quick to rally behind the fallen champion.
The hashtag #ManaloMataloManYoureStillTheBestPacman was among the top trending topics in the Philippines, while #FilipinoPride was the top trending topic in the world.
"There are just too many reasons to be proud of this man. One defeat won’t change that," tweeted Leigh Precia.
"Heartbreaking. First time ko s'ya nakitang na KO," said Twitter user @deSuperDee.
"Nakakasad naman ang nangyari kay Pacquiao. Nangatal ako dun ha," added Christian Patiga on Twitter.
" like how Pacman got up smiling. He is a true Filipino. You're still the winner for us," tweeted Leny Tancio.
"Pacquiao has given us so much pride. He doesn't need to prove anything now. He's already a champ, ever since," added Joy Espia.
But despite the outpouring of pride online, Filipinos were still stunned to see Pacquiao lose for the second straight time this year -- and in such a devastating fashion.
"I'm so shocked. I can't believe it when Manny was ahead on points," barber Pedro Varela told Reuters. "It was a good fight. Manny gave it all. He was impressive, it was one lucky punch from Marquez."
Pacquiao's wife, Jinkee, was anguished after seeing her husband drop to the canvas, while in the boxer's hometown of General Santos City, the Pacquiao family was bitterly disappointed.
Jinkee had to be restrained by Pacquiao's promoter, Top Rank chief executive Bob Arum, from going into the ring.
"I went over to Jinkee and I comforted here. She was a little hysterical and I didn't want her to go to the ring. When he got up and we realized he was okay, I said she could go to the ring but she did not want to," Arum explained in the post-fight press conference.
Meanwhile, Pacquiao's mother, Dionisia, is hoping that her son will quit the sport.
"Kung ako lang ang magde-desisyon, gusto kong magpahinga na siya, mag-relax na siya," she said in an interview with DZMM.
In Bacolod City, Pacquiao fans who packed shopping malls and gymnasiums were stunned to see their idol get knocked out.
Some of the Pacman's fans believe Marquez was just lucky to have landed a fatal punch on Pacquiao and believe that the Filipino is still the better boxer.
Pacquiao was sent to a hospital to get a CT scan as a precautionary measure and did not attend the post-fight press conference.
But immediately after the fight, the Filipino boxer said he plans to rest for a while but insisted that he will be back to train and fight next year. – Report from Marty Go, ABS-CBN News Bacolod; DZMM; Reuters