Boxing announcer Jim Lampley has been widely criticized after making an insensitive analogy in which he compared Juan Manuel Marquez's decisive punch in his triumph over Manny Pacquiao to a tsunami. The comment sparked outrage in light of the recent Typhoon Bopha that ravaged Pacquiao's homeland last week, killing more than 600 people with an additional 780 missing as of Monday, per CNN.
After Marquez knocked out Pacquiao in the sixth round of Saturday night's fight, HBO's Lampley reportedly said, "The tsunami that hit the Philippines was just replicated by Marquez."
Lampley apologized in a statement to USA Today on Sunday.
"Last night's comment was in no way intended to belittle or dismiss the grave severity of the typhoon's effects or the humanity of the victims," he said. "We all know the difference between a boxing match and an event of cataclysmic human suffering. To anyone who was discomfited by the metaphorical comparison I offer my sincere and heartfelt apology. No disrespect was in any way intended."
Surprisingly, Lampley wasn't the only one to connect the fight with the recent natural disaster. Schoolteacher Constancio Olivar, who lost his house in the typhoon, described the additional loss felt when Pacquiao went down.
"It was like a double blow for me -- this disaster and this defeat," he told Fox News. "We were all crestfallen. Everyone fell silent, stunned. It was like we saw a tsunami."
Similarly, Marlon Esperanza, the spokesman for the devastated township of New Bataan, told the Associated Press that local residents were taking the loss especially hard.
"People were really dismayed," he said. "It was like they were hit by another typhoon."