Hero’s welcome awaits Pacquiao in GenSan

GENERAL SANTOS CITY — A day after his sensational win in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, world boxing champion, Senator Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao, will return home on Monday afternoon to another grand hero’s welcome.

The “fighting senator,” who wrested the World Boxing Association “regular” welterweight title from Argentinian Lucas Matthysse, is expected to arrive at the city airport in a chartered flight at around 4 p.m.

Lady Manalo, assistant head of the City Sports and Games Development Division, said Monday they are all set for the highly-anticipated homecoming of the city’s “favorite son.”

She said they have started preparing for Pacquiao’s hero’s welcome last week, ahead of the scheduled fight at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, July 15.

As in his previous homecoming, Manalo said the senator will be given arrival honors at the city airport by a police and Army contingent.

She said the senator will then take a motorcade from the airport to the city’s downtown area on an adorned float prepared by the local government.

Mayor Ronnel Rivera, who witnessed the fight in Kuala Lumpur along with several other city officials, will join the motorcade.

The city government will then honor Pacquiao through a program set at a shopping mall here, she said.

“We expect another warn and rousing hero’s welcome for the senator from our residents,” Manalo said in a radio interview.

The hero’s welcome for Pacquiao has become a tradition for the city every time he comes home from fights abroad regardless of the result.

Pacquiao, who grew up in Barangay Labangal here, made another epic performance on Sunday and eventually knocked out Matthysse in the seventh round.

The eight-division world boxing champion, who is considered a local hero, returned to the ring more than a year after a controversial unanimous loss to Australian Jeff Horn.

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