Filipinos expressed shock and some wept Sunday after Manny Pacquiao's loss to undefeated American boxer Timothy Bradley in a close Las Vegas bout.
Pacquiao's defeat by split decision late-Saturday at the MGM Grand arena ended his impressive seven-year unbeaten run that turned him into a wealthy boxing superstar and a national hero in impoverished Philippines.
Large numbers of Filipinos booed and yelled ''Manny was cheated'' after watching the bout in public parks and gymnasiums throughout the Philippines. Some broke into tears in disbelief.
Government volunteer librarian Gina Tubo says she wept because she thought Pacquiao won after landing more punches. She said she felt disoriented because she had become too used to his idol ending triumphant in more than a dozen fights.
''He's a national and a world hero,'' Tubo told The Associated Press by telephone from suburban Marikina city in the Philippine capital, her voice cracking. ''He inspires people and entertains them away from their troubles, so this is really shocking to all of us and I wept because he didn't lose.''
Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, who watched the bout in Las Vegas, hoped Pacquiao would win a rematch.
''For me, what happened here in Vegas was highway robbery,'' he told Philippine radio network DZBB by telephone.
The Philippine government told Pacquiao his proud country would stand by him in future fights
The Philippine military showed the bout as a morale-booster to thousands of soldiers, including those recovering in hospitals from recent battle wounds. It congratulated Bradley but praised Pacquiao for his grit, adding ''Manny will remain and will always be our champion.''