Apr 12, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Mother of Manny Pacquiao Dionesia Dapidran-Pacquiao holds up his gloves after the WBO World Welterweight Title bout against Timothy Bradley at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Pacquiao won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
A Manny Pacquiao fight is never complete without two very important women in his life being mentioned. However, for the 2nd rematch with Timothy Bradley on Saturday, April 12, Pacquiao's wife Jinkee and mum Dionesia showed more than just the traditional support by personally watching his fight but saying or doing things that could chart the course of his boxing career post-Bradley.
This time, Jinkee, who is also the vice governor of Saranggani Province, was not physically present because she is pregnant with their fifth child and due to give birth anytime in April.
Nevertheless, she viewed the fight from their mansion in General Santos City. She shared that throughout the closely fought 12 rounds held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, her tummy kept on hardening due to stress.
Jinkee was the picture of a happy wife when the unanimous decision favouring her husband was announced. Moments before the decision was made known, the TV cameras showed Manny being provided medical attention because of a wound on his left eyebrow caused by Bradley.
Reports said that Pacquiao's wound was 2.5 by 1 centimetre and required 32 stitches, 15 under and 17 outside the cut. The eight-division titleholder, who regained his WBO Welterweight belt from the Desert Storm, acknowledged that his opponent improved a lot compared to their bout in June 2012 whose result was doubted by boxing fans.
Pacquiao said he attempted to finish off Bradley with a knockout, but that didn't happen, although he also admitted "I enjoyed the fight because my opponent didn't run away and chose to fight toe-to-toe."
However, apparently because of his injury, Jinkee challenged Manny to retire from boxing even if he had won his fight against Bradley. She pointed out that at 35 years old, he isn't getting any younger. "It also difficult, he is getting older. His victory today is good enough today, he has nothing else left to prove," Jinkee told ABS-CBN in Pilipino.
However, Pacquiao has stated that his boxing journey will continue and he has a few more years left. Because of this, boxing fans are now speculating if one of his last fights before Pacquiao retires is to have a bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Meanwhile, Dionesa, Manny's very visible mum, was the one who flew to Las Vegas to watch his bout. In the past, she used to spend the whole day praying with her friends for her famous son's victory, while everyone else in the Philippines was watching him battle it out in the ring.
TV cameras spotted the irrepressible woman reading a pamphlet and, clutching a rosary and pointing her finger at the ring, prompting Fox Sport to speculate that Dionesia was casting a spell on Bradley.
The video made her a Twitter hit, although in the Philippines she is a star in her own right as an occasional actress, recording artist and commercial endorser ever since Manny became world champion several times over.
Here's some samples of tweets about Dionesia.
John Lai wrote, "Let's be honest, the REAL champ in all of this is Pacquiao's Mom."
Derek Brunson opined, "This fight was even until Pacquiao's Mom pulled out that voodoo doll! This should be a no contest."
Sandrea added, "Pacquiao's mom out there castin spells from Hogwarts lol."
Dionesia is surely no witch from Harry Potter. Filipinos who are familiar with her are sure she was reciting a novena prayer and casting out spirits of defeat. A proof that she wasn't hexing Bradley is that right after the fight, she went up the ring, hugged Manny and then Bradley.
Like Jinkee, Dionesia - also known for her fondness for ballroom dancing, expensive branded bags and blings on her fingers and ears - has been opposing Manny's fights and pushing for him to hang his boxing gloves for good.
Besides Jinkee and Dionesia, who have been supporting Manny during his lean days to his being one of the richest man in the Philippines, other women had been linked to Pacquiao because of alleged extramarital affairs such as Filipina starlets Ara Mina and Krista Ranillo. He has also been reported to have fathered a child with a waitress.
However, all that is water under the bridge since the Pacquiao couple has renewed their Christian faith, although even before that Manny has been known to be a very prayerful man and is always seen praying before a fight.
So perhaps besides the hard training that Pacquiao has gone through which resulted in his taking back the welterweight belt, Manny's prayer and Dionesia's prayer over did help give Bradley his first loss.