Pacquiao Comeback Fight – Will Pacman return to his best against Rios?
By Niall Doran
A lot of people lately have been quick to say Manny Pacquiao has seen better days and at this point is past his sell by date. I’m not sure though am I totally convinced he is.
Rewind to 2012 when the “Pacman” was left sprawled out on the canvas following a perfectly timed right hand counter from Juan Manuel Marquez, landed on the Philippino’s jaw as he was walking forward straight onto it to make the effects of the blow that much more severe.
What a lot of people don’t talk about though and seem to remember, is that Pacquiao by all accounts and on the vast majority of scorecards, was actually winning the fight up until the time of the knock out in the 6th round.
I thought Pacquiao was actually boxing very well early on but you could see a little frustration creep in as the fight progressed with Manny getting more aggressive round by round. This ultimately played into Marquez’ hands and it cost the “Pacman” dearly and quite violently in the end.
I cant help but wonder though if Freddie Roach can get him to go back to his boxing a little more, combinations, not loading up with the left hand, not stepping forward before he punches (something Marquez’ camp picked up on before the last fight) and not telegraphing his punches in general, that we might see at least 90% of what he had before.
I mean, he’s not exactly an old guy at 34 either. He’s had an extended break from the ring now and that rest could have been exactly what he needs. Remember, this is not a guy who struggles for motivation. This is a man who has won world titles in 8 different weight classes, something that has never been equalled in boxing history, by anyone. He’s also a guy who came from absolutely nothing, fought his way out of some of the harshest poverty imaginable (for both him and his family) and has worked incredibly hard for everything he has today.
Now people are writing him off. I think this could be music to the ears of a guy like Manny Pacquiao to be honest. In Brandon Rios I think they’ve picked an excellent opponent for him on his comeback and also for fight fans for that matter. Rios only knows how to fight one way – come forward, pressure and all out aggression. If Roach has prepared a decent game plan (which I’d imagine he has) we could see a more counter punching Manny similar to performances previously against ultra aggressive opponents like Ricky Hatton for example.
He’ll also want to put a show in front of his adoring Asian fans in Macau China where the fight takes place. I think there’s a little more left in the Pacman tank just yet.
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