Filipino boxing hero Manny Pacquiao returns to his home country Tuesday nearly four days after undergoing surgery on his injured rotator cuff in Los Angeles, various media reported. The 36-year-old and boxing's only eight division champion, Pacquiao arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport where he declared that "he won against Floyd Mayweather Jr.," during their May 2 bout at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
With his arm heavily strapped in a sling, Pacquiao told reported that he defeated American fighter Mayweather in their fight dubbed as the "Fight of the Century" despite fighting with an injured shoulder. Pacquiao said while the three judges saw the fight going to Mayweather via a unanimous decision, he won the hearts of the boxing fans not only in the Philippines but the rest of the world, reported PDI.
Wearing his usual smile, Manny Pacquiao was met by his wife Jinkee and son Israel at the NAIA Terminal 2 where he answered questions in a hastily-called press conference, said the Daily Mail.
Pacquiao said that upon his doctor's advice, he would take nine-month break to allow for his surgery to completely heal. He claimed that the injury seriously hampered his performance during the most important and most expensive fight in boxing history.
Another PDI report quoted Boxing News 24's team of leading boxing commentators who claimed that Pacquiao had indeed won against Mayweather in their May 2 bout. The team reviewed a video of the fight, first by watching the game in actual speed and then reviewed it again in slow motions, and finally frame by frame.
After the review, the team of experts tallied the punches thrown by each of the fighters. They said that while Mayweather threw more punches than Pacquiao, 471 to 414, he landed only 68 blows, fewer than 30 punches that Pacquiao had landed.
Meanwhile, official records have confirmed that the May 2 super fight between Pacquiao and Mayweather was the highest grossing of all time, and generated over 4.4 million pay-per-view buys and over $400 million in earnings. The numbers shattered all previous records and the Pacquiao-Mayweather bout is now the official highest-grossing PPV of all time, reported the Philippine Star.
The numbers are expected to further rise as income from the live gate at the MGM Grand, international television distribution, sponsorships, closed circuit and merchandise sales, come in. Organizers, including Showtime Networks Inc., a subsidiary of CBS Corporation, and HBO in conjunction with event promoters Mayweather Promotions and Top Rank, Inc., are expecting revenues to reach more than $500 million.
The previous PPV record was held by the Oscar De La Hoya- Mayweather fight in 2007, which generated 2.48 million buys. The Pacquiao-Mayweather welterweight world championship unification bout dwarfed the Mayweather-Canelo Alvarez bout in 2013, which earned $150 million.
The Pacquiao-Mayweather match also set other records, including international distribution involving 175 countries across the globe or 75 percent of the world's territory.
Going back to Pacquiao's homecoming, the future Hall of Famer refused to comment on the statement issued by Mayweather that he had lost his respect to the Filipino fighting congressman.
Pacquiao also dismissed speculations that he intends to seek the Philippine presidency as he doused cold water into the rumors. Before the fight, Top Rank honcho Bob Arum hinted that Pacquiao might run for the presidency in the Philippines.