Manny Pacquiao: Is the Fire Back?

Lee Cleveland Updated
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You probably wouldn't want to be Brandon Rios come November 23rd. ... Or so it seems.

Manny Pacquiao has had a pretty difficult time inside the ring the last 2 years and if he decides to unleash his frustrations on Mr. Rios, the young man might be in for a long night.

Pacquiao UD12 Mosley, May 2011
He was criticized for a lackluster, despite dominant, performance against Shane Mosley.

Pacquiao SD12 Marquez 3, Nov 2012
PacMan, despite throwing and landing more shots than his foe, was the beneficiary of what many deemed a controversial verdict.

Pacquiao SD 12 by Bradley, June 2012
In perhaps the most-protested decision in the history of the sport, Manny lost his title to Tim Bradley.

Pacquiao KO 6 by Marquez 4
And then, Manny Pacquiao, looking very much like the Pacquiao of old, appeared to be on the verge of knocking out his Mexican rival when Juan Manuel Marquez landed a monstrous right hand that sent Manny Pacquiao to the canvas face first in Round 6.

It marked the first KO defeat for Manny Pacquiao in 13 years.

Has Manny Pacquiao, once a fighter of unmitigated destruction, gone tame? Maybe and maybe not. But if those experiences aren't enough to cause a fighter to enter the ring with bad intentions, I don't know what is.

Moreover, if we learned anything from Pacquiao vs Marquez 4 it's:

1) Physically, Manny's speed and skills are intact, and

2) He's still capable of ferociousness; An aggressive Pacquiao didn't try to cruise to a decision victory over Marquez, as he'd done in previous bouts with other opponents.

Manny Pacquiao hasn't scored a knockout since 2009. And while we've seen a 'kindler, gentler' PacMan the better part of 4 years, the 'blood-thirsty gentleman' was back last December against Marquez.

"I have confidence in my ability. If we look back at my last fight, my condition, my aggressiveness and my killer instinct is there. My killer instinct and aggressiveness is back and it's just what happened in the 6th round" said Manny during his last press conference in Los Angeles.


Do you believe him?
This is the face of an elite pound-for-pound fighter after just several rounds in the ring with Manny Pacquiao last December.

Look for the Filipino fight great to enter the Rios bout as hungry as he's been in years.

Church representative, Member of Congress, humanitarian, singer, actor, product endorser, husband, father... and... boxer. Was Manny Pacquiao was spreading himself too thin?

Gone are the incessant rumors about PacMan retiring. He realizes, now, he can dedicate himself to public service 100% for many years after retiring from boxing but may only have 2 or 3 quality years left as an elite fighter.

Manny lost to JMM because he got careless going for the kill - Not because he's slowed down. And now, Marquez is stating he won't fight Pac again. Wonder why?

Credit Marquez for finding the opening and executing.  His victory was well-deserved... But he looked every bit on the verge of getting KO'd himself that night. 


Enter: Brandon Rios
PacMan will need all of his recently-returned swagger come November 23rd as Brandon Rios is a young, tough, quality thoroughbred who fights with tremendous heart and courage.

The Filipino superstar must fight in an aggressive-but-cautious style and let the knockout come to him, if it comes at all. Rios is good, durable and dangerous so Manny can ill-afford to get careless, no matter how much he wants the knockout.

Knockout or decision, expect Manny Pacquiao, one of the greatest fighters of the era and all-time, to be on fire come November.


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