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Manny Pacquiao: Is PacMan's demise being exaggerated?

J Updated
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It's been an unusual last eleven months for Manny Pacquiao. After being knocked out cold by Juan Manuel Marquez in December, his commitment to boxing is in question since he's been devoting a bit more time to his political career.

(Main pic courtesy of Top Rank)

Some have even called him a shot fighter for having lost two fights in a row.

Is Manny Pacquiao the same fighter he was in 2009?

No, but to call him a shot fighter is premature. Despite dropping his last two fights he showed, in each, that he is still an elite-level,  top notch fighter.

Let's look deeper at his last two fights.

Pacquiao vs Bradley
In June of 2012, Pacquiao defended his WBO welterweight championship against Timothy Bradley. For 12 rounds, those who witnessed the fight saw Pacquiao beat Bradley to the punch and land the harder blows.

Compubox numbers showed that Pacquiao out landed Bradley 253 to 159 in overall punches and 190 to 108 in powershots. Somehow, despite the lopsided punchstats, Bradley was awarded a controversial split decision victory.

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Can you blame that loss on Pacquiao because of the scoring of incompetent judges?


Unfortunately and too often in boxing, there are questionable and controversial decisions that baffle fans and members of the media. So although the record book will show that Pacquiao lost to Bradley, you would be hard pressed to find someone outside of Bradley's inner circle who felt Tim won that fight.

Manny Pacquiao hits the mits 


Pacquiao vs Marquez IV
The second of Pacquiao's recent defeats came at the hands of Juan Manuel Marquez in their fourth fight in December. That bout is mainly remembered for two massive right hands by Marquez.

The first one occurred in round three as the knockdown marked the first time Pacquiao tasted the canvas in their rivalry. And, of course, there was the beautiful right hand that knocked Pacquiao out cold in round six.

Aside from rounds three and six, Pacquiao was winning the fight. He knocked down Marquez in round five and out landed Marquez in total punches (94 to 52).

ScreenShot2012-12-08at9.55.07PM original

Plus, Pacquiao and had a higher connect percentage (37% to 21%).

There's no shame in getting knocked out, especially when it's at the hands of a future hall of famer in Marquez. Knockouts happen in boxing  when two KO-minded, elite-level fighters are willing to exchange blow-for-blow with one another.

Questions about Pacquiao's abilities will be answered on November 23rd when he faces Brandon Rios.

Rios is a no nonsense, all action fighter who will come straight ahead and provide the ultimate truth serum on what Pacquiao has left in the tank.  In fact, some liken Rios to a smaller version of Antonio Margarito who was pummeled for 12 rounds by Pacquiao in 2010.

If Pacquiao is anything close to what he was in 2009, he should defeat Rios. If he is, in fact, a shot fighter then November 23rd could be the last time we see Pacquiao in a boxing ring.


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