.- Filipino champion boxer Manny Pacquiao dedicated his Nov. 24 win to all the victims of the recent Typhoon Haiyan, offering prayers for their continued recovery.
Pacquiao won over his American opponent Brandon Rios in the 12th round by unanimous decision to take the World Boxing Organization international welterweight title.
The win brought cheers in the Philippines at a time of sorrow and loss after being struck earlier this month by Typhoon Haiyan, among the strongest storms ever recorded.
Known in the Philippines as Typhoon Yolanda, the storm left devastation, killing thousands and affecting more than 9 million people.
In some parts of the worst hit areas of Tacloban, screens were installed in local playgrounds so that people could watch the boxing match and take their mind off the losses they had endured.
“This fight is for you,” Pacquiao said in the post-fight press conference, remembering the victims of the typhoon.
“Glory to God in Jesus’ name,” he prayed.
Pacquio, who was born in poverty, rose to become an eight-division world champion in boxing. He also currently works as an elected official in the Philippine House of Representatives, serving Sarangani's Lone District.
The boxer promised to “visit” the people of his district personally after the fight. His staff members have been assisting in recent relief efforts.