Manila: Filipinos prayed and nervously waited until eight division boxing champion Manny Pacquiao was declared winner over Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez in Las Vegas on Sunday, retaining his WBO welterweight title.   

Filipinos in cinemas, hotels, public parks and even army bases across the Philippines erupted after the majority decision but many were unconvinced of Pacquiao's latest ring victory.   

"It was a sad and embarrassing win," Domingo de los Santos, a computer engineer, said after watching the 12-round bout live at a restaurant in Manila's business district.   

"As a Filipino, I'm nevertheless happy for Pacquiao's win, but it was not so convincing. I expect Marquez to demand a rematch next year."   

Pacquiao, a congressman and widely regarded as the world's best pound-for-pound fighter, won by majority decision over Marquez.     

In an army hospital in Manila, hundreds of soldiers wounded in battles against Maoist guerrillas and Muslim separatists in the south watched the fight on a large screen, wildly cheering for Pacquiao, a lieutenant-colonel in the reserve force.   

Fans covered their heads with chairs in Marikina City in the capital to shield the rain as they watched the boxing match on huge TV screens set up in a crowded public park.     

"I really prayed hard before the decision was announced," Gertrudes Posadas, 50, said. "I was saying the rosary and was asking for a draw."   

Philippine President Benigno Aquino sent a congratulatory message from Hawaii, where he was attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders' summit.       

Manila's streets were deserted before and during the fight as Filipinos were glued to the television.   

Some families spent their Sunday in cinemas, hotels and restaurants to watch Pacquaio and Marquez fight for the third time.

(Agencies)