Over two weeks ago, we witnessed Rep. Pacquiao’s controversial win against Mr. Marquez. We saw it on TV.
Atty. Raymond Alvin Neri Garcia watched it live. He not only saw the actual scuffle, he also visited the pre-fight festivities at Vegas.
“I was amazed at the number of people attending the weigh-in,” said Atty. Garcia. “Capacity of MGM Grand is 15,000 and about 7,500 attended. I estimate about half were Filipinos. Free entrance.”
The fight itself? “I had to pay $1,300 for a ticket I bought two months before,” he said. “It was worth every penny considering it reached 12 rounds. Once in a lifetime experience which fulfills one item in my bucket-list.”
What made the battle very pro-Marquez was the crowd. “About 70 percent of those who watched were Mexicans. That’s why the punches of Marquez were highlighted; the diehard Mexicans would scream as he’d connect with each punch.. and you could hear the boos and ahhs when Manny was declared the victor.”
Two other highlights in Raymond’s trip. One, his visit to the Wild Card Gym the Tuesday after the fight. He got to interview Freddie Roach. “It was an ‘off night’ for Manny, Roach admitted. In his own words, Roach said: ‘They didn’t do too well.”
One more unforgettable experience: His meeting Mike Tyson. “He was in one of the restaurants at the MGM Hotel. He was having pictures and signing autographs. I queued up for a photo and interviewed him. Said Tyson: ‘Pacqiuao will win big time but as to what round, I can’t tell.’”
Atty. Raymond, now back in Cebu, visited his brother, Dr. Jerald Garcia, in Hawaii. He flew to Las Vegas then drove to California and stayed there for two weeks.
“I was with Mark Dy and his wife Davely,” he said. “Also there was Chris Go, the owner of Prince Warehouse, who is taking his Masters in San Francisco. A lot of Cebuanos toured me around including Ronnie Seno and wife Malu. I stayed with them in L.A. Other Cebuanos included Paul Miaga, dad’s (Alvin Garcia’s) protocol officer when he was mayor, and Jovi Cabigon, dad’s executive assistant.”