MANILA – Nine people including a pregnant mother and her unborn child died on Sunday during the height of the "Firepower" bout between pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao and Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto.
A report by ABS-CBN Regional Network Group said Amelita Pasado went into labor at her home in Naawan, Misamis Oriental past 12 p.m. Sunday at the start of the Pacquiao-Cotto fight. Unfortunately, her husband, Ricardo, was not at home since he was watching the fight at a restaurant in the town.
Ricardo brought his wife to a local hospital after being informed of her condition but the latter died due to blood loss. Their baby also died during delivery, he said.
"We thought that she would give birth in December. Her tummy was already painful but she didn't want to be brought to a doctor," he told ABS-CBN.
Four fight fans in the cities of Butuan, Batangas, Talisay, and Cebu also died at the height of the Pacquiao-Cotto match.
Atillano Caneda, 67, suffered a heart attack while watching a pay-per-view of the fight in his home in Barangay Lagtang, Talisay City. Relatives said Caneda was a long-time fan of the Pacman.
In nearby Cebu City, 53-year-old Rolando Sala also suffered a heart attack while watching the fight at a local restaurant.
Romeo Seno, Sala's companion, said an excited Sala clutched his chest and fell to the floor during the seventh round of the match. The victim was brought to Perpetual Succour Hospital where he was declared dead on arrival.
The scene was also repeated in Butuan City and Batangas City on Sunday.
Seventy-year-old Concordio Paredes and his son, Jonathan, were watching a pay-per-view of the fight at the Yetan eatery along J.C. Aquino Avenue, Butuan City when the septuagenarian suddenly fell from his chair and became unconscious during the second round of the bout.
Police said Paredes was immediately brought to the MJ Santos Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival by the attending physician.
In Batangas City, a 62-year-old businessman also suffered cardiac arrest after getting excited during the second round of the "Firepower" bout.
Cecilio Cabrera, a resident of Beredo Subdivision in Barangay Alangilan in Batangas City, and owner of Pick and Save Supermarket, suffered cardiac arrest while watching the fight at the Pontefino Hotel in Barangay Gulod Labac.
Police said Cabrera was rushed to Jesus of Nazareth Hospital but died later after being revived at the emergency room.
"He got excited during the 2nd round of the fight, when Pacquiao nearly knocked out Cotto," Dess Aclan, a friend of Cabrera told ABS-CBN News.
Aclan said Cabrera collapsed while watching the last part of the 3rd round while Pacquiao was winning.
"Mr. Cabrera's eyes then rolled straight upwards and his body stiffened before the 3rd round ended, while he was clutching his chest," Aclan narrated.
Aclan said doctors in the emergency of Jesus of Nazareth Hospital tried to intubate Cabrera when he showed signs of life but later died due to cardiac arrest.
Meanwhile, in the Davao region, 3 more fans died, all due to heart attacks, during the historic fight.
Vicente Bernal of Carmen, Davao del Norte was dead on arrival at the town hospital after having a heart attack while watching round 3 of the fight.
"Sa second round masayang-masaya siya, sumisigaw-sigaw pa. Pagka-third round, di ko na siya napansin," Bernal's wife Maria said in Visayan.
"May history na talaga siya ng sakit sa puso," Maria added.
In Bansalan, Davao del Sur, Lord Espina, a barangay councilor for Barangay Poblacion Dos, also died of a heart attack, this time while watching the 9th round.
Espina's sibling noticed that he was not moving anymore while watching the fight, and he was then rushed to the hospital, where he was also declared dead.
Bansalan mayor Edwin Reyes said excitement for the fight would most probably caused the heart attack.
In Davao City, retired police officer Jose Paco also died while watching the fight.
In Paco's instance, however, his wife said he suddenly fell from his seat while watching the bout, and suffered an attack.
Source : abs-cbn news [ With reports from Arnell Ozaeta, Lorenzo Luzon, May Diez, Trini Velasco, and Francis Magbanua ABS-CBN Regional Network Group]