Mama Pacquiao wants revenge
Dionisia Pacquiao (Gallo Images)
Manila - Manny Pacquiao's furious mother led demands in the Philippines on Monday for a rematch with Timothy Bradley.
But church leaders say the former eight-division champion fighter should retire.
Dionisia Pacquiao has for years publicly urged her son to walk away from the ring. But after her 33-year-old son’s controversial loss to Bradley in Las Vegas she has called for swift revenge.
"I wanted him to retire before, but now I want to see this rematch happen," Pacquiao’s emotional mother, 63, told GMA television from her southern Philippine hometown.
"I want to let all of Manny's fans to know there will be a rematch, and he will get back his belt."
Pacquiao is a social phenomenon in the Philippines, where his status as one of the greatest boxers ever has propelled him to huge riches, a movie career and election to parliament.
He has won world titles in an unprecedented eight divisions, but suffered his first defeat since 2005 when Bradley took his WBO welterweight title on Sunday.
The split-decision defeat resulted in his record dropping to 54 wins, four defeats and two draws.
Even Las Vegas promoter Bob Arum questioned the scoring, describing the result as "nuts". Many in the Philippines also insist their hero was robbed.
Dionisia Pacquiao said she believed her son won on points, and called Bradley a "dirty fighter" for clinging on to him during exchanges.
Philippines' Army Scout Ranger spokesperson Major Harold Cabunoc said the military brass also wanted Pacquiao, a reservist colonel, to face Bradley again.
"Let's settle this once and for all. There should be a rematch, and Pacquiao will then be more vicious and knock Bradley out," he said.
Both boxers have already indicated their interest in a rematch, setting the stage for a lucrative bout, probably in November.
But the Philippines' influential Catholic church leaders regard Pacquiao's loss as a sign for one of their most famous sons to quit the sport.
Pacquiao, who had a reputation for womanising, gambling and drinking, recently said he was dedicating himself to religion after a dream in which God told him to follow a righteous path.
"We're very happy he has found his way after a spiritual conversion of some kind," Archbishop Oscar Cruz, a senior member of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines, said.
"But he should quit now and just continue to inspire the people with his other pursuits."