Manny Pacquiao is back home in the Philippines and back to work as a Congressman, but he's not thrilled with critics within his own country who feel that Juan Manuel Marquez deserved to win their November 12 fight in Las Vegas. From the Philippine Daily Inquirer:
"I thank the Filipino people for their support. With God’s help, I won. But to those who think the judges’ decision was wrong, I’d say get real. Be a Filipino. ... That’s boxing. There are instances where you don’t win through a one-sided fight. You can’t always beat your opponent in a lopsided way. They also have fists. It so happened that my fight was a close fight."
Apparently, blind support is preferable to actually having an opinion. I'll never understand that, but that's me.
As for his actual thoughts on the fight, I think he's more than fair. He admits he didn't win "convincingly," and while he doesn't go so far as to praise Marquez's performance, he knows it was a close fight and the point he's trying to make is that not every fight is going to be as easy as his last six wins, which shot him to superstardom around the world. Expectations are high, almost impossibly so, for any athlete that reaches Manny Pacquiao's level. It's not easy to live up to that every time out, particularly against someone as good and well-prepared as Marquez was.
Maybe there's a chance that the fight was a bit of a reality check to Pacquiao. I'm not saying he'd grown arrogant or anything, but that he'd perhaps gotten used to relatively easy fights. It had been almost four years since he'd really been tested at all inside the ring. Maybe he needed this, if not to calm the expectations from his enormous fanbase, then to make him remember that nobody can be Superman in every fight.