A man carrying a water bottle passes a sign of boxer Manny Pacquiao following the recent super typhoon in Leyte, Philippines. Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images
There is a bright spot in the typhoon-ravaged central Philippines. Cable operators have set up giant TV screens to broadcast Filipino boxing phenom Manny Pacquiao’s first fight in almost a year.
Cable operators put up a screen in a sports stadium where about 3,000 displaced people are living. TV screens have also been set up near other landmarks in Tacloban, the central-Philippines city that was decimated by Typhoon Haiyan two weeks ago. Much of the city still lacks electricity.
Local officials hope the fight will provide a much-needed lift in spirits to the region, where more than 5,000 died in the powerful storm.
Pacquiao will take on American Brandon Rios in what’s being called a comeback fight after his devastating knockout loss in December. The match, which Americans can watch on HBO pay per view Saturday night, is Sunday morning at the Venetian hotel in Macau, China.
“My countrymen, I want to make them happy. To bring honor to my country,” Pacquiao told Reuters earlier this week.
Pacquiao is also a member of the Philippine Congress, representing a southern province that was not damaged in the typhoon.