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This Could Be Manny Pacquiao’s Swan Song

BY David A. Avila ON November 07, 2013
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Pacquiao Rios NY PC 130806 001a 12d11Boxing fans should realize Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao could be fighting for the last time.

Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 Kos) faces a daunting task against Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios (31-1-1, 23 Kos) when they meet on Nov. 23, in Macau. The back-to-back losses by Asia’s greatest boxer are proof of ageing legs and slower reflexes. The non-title fight will be televised worldwide.

Fans have missed the signs. Instead of realizing that the Filipino superstar’s reflexes and stamina were waning, they opted to argue the point that judges were off target when Timothy Bradley took the WBO welterweight world title by unanimous decision.

Many did not notice Pacquiao was only fighting at full bore in the last 60 seconds of each round. They just saw the blurring combinations and negated the first two minutes of Pacman’s relative inactivity of each round. The judges didn’t miss it.

When Pacquiao next fought Mexico’s Juan Manuel Marquez and was knocked down for the first time in four encounters, many ignored it again. Few surmised that the reflexes were not up to his old standards. They saw Pacquiao rally back and knock down Marquez, but few saw the quivering legs of Pacman, whose stamina issues began to surface after expending so much energy chasing Marquez. Just before Marquez unloaded the big right hand, if you looked at Pacquiao’s legs, they were visibly unsteady. He was just plain tired in the sixth round.

It happens to the best.

Another Margarito?

Pacquiao hopes that his upcoming challenger Rios will rekindle the fire that he displayed when he demolished Mexico’s Antonio Margarito in 12 of the most one-sided rounds seen in a championship fight. That day on Nov. 13, 2010, the Filipino speedster never tired and seemed to have a limitless supply of bombs bouncing off Margarito’s head.

“That’s what I want, his style of fighting,” said Pacquiao of Rios. “He likes to come inside and I like that style. I don’t like to chase and I’m pretty sure I won’t have to chase him.”

Yes, he prefers the Margarito style that Rios uses, but it was three years ago. Can Pacquiao regain the almost superhuman cardio of the past?

“My training for this fight has been unique and my training camp has been very long for this fight,” said Pacquiao, 34, who seeks at least two more fights should he beat Rios. “My preparation has been going very well so I think it’s going to be an exciting fight.”

Rios can’t match Pacquiao when it comes to speed. Few prizefighters in the world can rival the southpaw’s lightning combinations of bullet-like punches that come from unorthodox angles and slots. But what happens when he slows down?

“I’m going to do what I always do, I’m a pressure fighter,” said Rios, 27, from his Oxnard base. “I’ll pressure him and make him throw punches. I’ll wear him down. It’s what I do.”

Time zones

Top Rank’s Bob Arum has not shown unwavering confidence in his super star Pacquiao. Instead, he hopes that the change from training in California to the Philippines helps prepare one of the greatest fighters in the last 50 years.

“He was spending time on the phone talking with people in the Philippines when he should have been sleeping,” said Arum about previous fights. He also added that Pacquiao’s responsibilities as a Congressman in a different time zone handicapped his prize charge. “Now that he’s home, he’s able to rest and take care of business at the proper time. His training has been incredible.”

Rios doesn’t have to worry about time zones or politics. The only added element to his training regimen was having Hollywood actor-comedian Kevin Hart walk into his gym to promote a boxing movie called “Grudge Match.” Despite fighting at welterweight for the first time the always loose Rios was even more placid than usual.

“All of my concentration has been just on fighting Pacquiao, not on losing weight,” said Rios, who will be fighting at 147-pounds. “This has been easy and it’s been hard. Easy, because I can make weight. Hard, because I have to train to beat a great fighter like Pacquiao.”

Fans should not take for granted that Pacquiao will win. Never in his career has vulnerability been as obvious then now for the great Asian prizefighter. Don’t miss this fight. It could be the last for the great Pacquiao.

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Comment on this article

the Roast says:

End of the line for the Pacman. Too many years and too many rounds. He will not be face down like the last time but he will be beaten up. Probably stopped late or Roach pulls the plug in the corner. "I can't let you keep taking these shots Manny. I gotta stop it. I love you."

the Roast says:

Lets get those Quotes of Note changed Powers That Be. Those suckers are three months old. EM slipping a bit like Da Manny? Whatever happened to Deepwater? Did he get banned? Why? Answers please.

amayseng says:

easy there my friend, pac will shine. He still has phenomenal speed and reflexes and his footwork is still agile and coordinated.

Rios is a tough cat but he will be walking into harder and faster shots then he has ever seen.

Rios will get stopped one way or another.

amayseng says:

I assume Deepwater got banned.

if you look in the directory/community, his name is not even there to be highlighted like other posters who have not been active for a bit...

the Roast says:

I assume you are correct Ameyseng but why? I did look him up in that directory and I see he is gone as if he never was here but again I ask why. The only other notable poster to get banned before was fighter4JC. As I'm sure you remember it was a long process in which we were all involved and weighed in. The Roast has been asking questions behind the scenes about deep and I have recieved no answers. I even got on the facebook version of TSS and asked there. They said they would get back to me and they have not. In terms of longevity and quality Deepwater was an All Time Great here at TSS. Top 5 in my book. He deserved better than to be booted out without some type of discussion or trail. How many active members are there whose join date is Dec 2010. Not many. Where is the loyalty? The Roast CAN handle the truth. What happened?

the Roast says:

Also, Ameyseng, I feel that Pac has been sleeping in the silk PJ's for too long. He is long in the tooth. He has one foot out the door. He is a congressman(jerking motion). His time is up. You will see.

Radam G says:

I gotta get to Milan and holla at what The Roast is drinking. Hehehe!

Bam Bam is no Jesus Marching Up into Hel

Radam G says:

Sorry! But Bam Bam is a walking, moving punching bag with eyeballs, a breath and a bit of body heat.

His eyeballing, breathing and body heat are going draw Da Manny's eyeball-seeking, breathing-seeking and heat-seeking missiles right to Bam Bam's mug and torso for devastating explosions. KaBOOM!

Easy win by kayo or stoppage after a few knockdowns by Da Manny. Holla!

Brad says:

I keep reading that Pacquiao is in decline, which he may indeed be, but I don't think you can point at his last two fights as signs of that decline. He beat Bradley. Let's not bs anyone here. He clearly won that fight and Bradley is without question a P4P top 10 boxer right now. He got caught by JMM, but he was busting up JMM so badly I doubt that fight goes another two rounds if Manny didn't walk into one. This fight was no Sugar Ray Leonard-Camacho fight. SRL looked old and out of place in that fight (the Norris fight also). You knew it was a matter of time before Camacho KO'ed him. The shocking part of the Pac KO, was it came out of no where. He was winning the fight and JMM face was a mess. Stepping on the gas trying to finish off a badly busted up fighter isn't an "aging" fighters mistake, it's a young fighters mistake. So I'm not convinced that this is Pac's swan song, I've seen nothing to indicate it is.

kidcanvas says:

its the end of any great fighter when they dabble in other things and dont give 200% on the fight game . when he became a congressman that
tightened the noose

jzzy says:

Certainly, Pacman has picked a tough opponent and we can't dispute your observations on Pacman's last 2
fights. But I believe he has rededicated himself to training and hopefully has made some adjustments to his
style to compensate for being 34. This will be war.

leon30001 says:

I disagree with this; Pacquiao beat Bradley, period.

And it wasn't just fans that "opted" to argue against the judge's scorecards...it was EVERYONE. Recently, revisionist history has started creeping in.

Incidentally, it bothers me that people denigrate Pac's achievements these days, which in my eyes are still gargantuan.

PS I hypothesise that the editor banned Deepwater as he had the temerity to question Lord Obama's altruism and general sainthood; I don't know for sure, but I am taking a wild guess the editor is an Obama guy. Something in his demeanour kind of gives me that impression. I expect my ban will follow shortly!

The Good Doctor says:

Maybe I am out of the loop here, but I feel like the hype machine is making Rios to be a whole lot more than he is. His last three fights are a loss to Mile High Mike, an average fighter at best, A TKO of Mike where he got peppered often, and a fight with a very average Abril who many claim won the fight and Rios missed weight. In addition, contrary to popular belief, Rios does not throw bombs as many people think or have been led to believe. He is an arm puncher with no defense.

A slowed Manny is twice as good as anything Rios has seen. I see Pacman Margarito II in this one.

Real Talk says:

After the first two paragraphs I had to stop reading. This article is garbage loading with bull____(youcanfillintheblank). Pacman's reflexes have not slowed down nor his stamina slipped. He walked into a wicked right hand from a wounded and bloodied Marquez fighting to survive being reckless. Pacquiao, Freddie and entourage got the big head and became prideful and puffed up and got humbled. He thought that he had it cranked up but found out he didn't, he got outsmarted by the Marquez/Nacho camp and got put in the trick bag. They mind____ team Pacquiao and caught him when he wasn't 100% dedicated. Athleticism only gets you so far, skills can not be overlooked and the details cannot be glossed over. As far as the Timothy Bradley fight Bradley lost that fight PERIOD. Anybody says otherwise is blind, don't know boxing, biased, paid for or work for Timothy Bradley. I got Pacquiao stopping Rios if he's not damaged goods but Floyd I don't know.....I doubt it. Styles make fights but Floyd has many styles and these comments like trackmeet etc. tells me he doesn't comprehend the sweet science on the level required to deal with the greatest fighter lacing'em up and P4P king. Hey it is what it is and I call it like I see it. It's levels to this LOL and nobody I'm seeing is fighting at that level of skill accept maybe Andre Ward close second. Dueces

amayseng says:

Also, Ameyseng, I feel that Pac has been sleeping in the silk PJ's for too long. He is long in the tooth. He has one foot out the door. He is a congressman(jerking motion). His time is up. You will see.


I can see your point, it could be quite easy to get comfortable and lose that edge. I think that knockout was a wake up call. I think it grounded him and was a lesson he forgot. I just think he still has too much left to lose to a guy like Rios. Rios is tough, but he is not an elite fighter and it will take an elite fighter to beat him. JMM was an elite counterpuncher and had 36 rounds of practice with pac.

as for Deepwater I am with you. I have no idea why he got banned, if he is truly banned.

I would like to know for sure just to make sure something didn't happen to him.

I am concerned at this point.

amayseng says:

I keep reading that Pacquiao is in decline, which he may indeed be, but I don't think you can point at his last two fights as signs of that decline. He beat Bradley. Let's not bs anyone here. He clearly won that fight and Bradley is without question a P4P top 10 boxer right now. He got caught by JMM, but he was busting up JMM so badly I doubt that fight goes another two rounds if Manny didn't walk into one. This fight was no Sugar Ray Leonard-Camacho fight. SRL looked old and out of place in that fight (the Norris fight also). You knew it was a matter of time before Camacho KO'ed him. The shocking part of the Pac KO, was it came out of no where. He was winning the fight and JMM face was a mess. Stepping on the gas trying to finish off a badly busted up fighter isn't an "aging" fighters mistake, it's a young fighters mistake. So I'm not convinced that this is Pac's swan song, I've seen nothing to indicate it is.


good post I agree with all.

amayseng says:

I disagree with this; Pacquiao beat Bradley, period.

And it wasn't just fans that "opted" to argue against the judge's scorecards...it was EVERYONE. Recently, revisionist history has started creeping in.

Incidentally, it bothers me that people denigrate Pac's achievements these days, which in my eyes are still gargantuan.

PS I hypothesise that the editor banned Deepwater as he had the temerity to question Lord Obama's altruism and general sainthood; I don't know for sure, but I am taking a wild guess the editor is an Obama guy. Something in his demeanour kind of gives me that impression. I expect my ban will follow shortly!


editor mike is an Obama man and thats ok.

i think deep called him a communist a few times too many, i could be wrong.

editor mike is a cool cat so i am not gonna assume. just hope to hear why

amayseng says:

Maybe I am out of the loop here, but I feel like the hype machine is making Rios to be a whole lot more than he is. His last three fights are a loss to Mile High Mike, an average fighter at best, A TKO of Mike where he got peppered often, and a fight with a very average Abril who many claim won the fight and Rios missed weight. In addition, contrary to popular belief, Rios does not throw bombs as many people think or have been led to believe. He is an arm puncher with no defense.

A slowed Manny is twice as good as anything Rios has seen. I see Pacman Margarito II in this one.


exactly TGD, rios is a volume puncher of more of the thudding type. he isnt a killer or buzzing puncher.

the speed difference will be incredible for Rios he will look lost and out of sorts as he is out of his leaque

Radam G says:

@TGD, you are straight-up in da loop. Outta of Bam Bam, Da Manny is gonna beat da poop. Indeed, Bam Bam is being hyped up.

Hyping is for getting the haters to purchase PPVs. Da muthasuckas hate Da Manny so much that any negativity can spark, con and fool them into the slightest make-believe that Da Manny is now a shell of Pac-Time.

OMFG! He is still a whole DIME. And can beat a second-rated fighter like Bam Bam well passed Da Manny's so-called PRIME.

After Da Manny kayo Bam Bam or just totally gorilla beatdown his arse, the haters, posers and ____ ____ ___ will continue to say that PacTime is not Da Manny of yesteryears. RIGHT! Just follow the banana peels. Hehehehe! Holla!

brownsugar says:

A lot of doom and gloom in this piece... I see Paq getting a little battle weary but he's not quite shot yet.

brownsugar says:

I mean there is going to be a book isn't it?

Radam G says:

After this Da Manny's gorilla beatdown of Bam Bam, maybe the scribe of this piece will scribble a piece about how it was "A Manny Pacquiao's Peacock Song," far from a "...Swan Song." Hehehe!

Bam Bam is so slow and outta his league that he would make my 113-year-old Tio Mamoy and my 120-year-old plus gaint turtle "Quickslow" look like they were on speed roids and A-side meth. Hehehe!

Bam Bam is going to be in a whole-new world of pugilism in dat squared jungle in Macau. He will no longer be in -- where he was born -- Texas, no longer be (in Kansas) where he was reared and no longer be [in Cali] where he trains. He is going to be in China. And he ain't going to bring down the Wall of China or the era of Da Manny.

Nicely Bam Bam is going to get paid. And sickly in dat squared jungle, KTFO by Da Manny, he is going to get laid. Holla!

teaser says:

if Manny is anything near form Rios should be finished by 8 rounds....maybe a lot sooner unless his chin is Margarito like ....I found Deepwater to be a good read and hope we see him back ..this place needs guys like him ..gives the forum character

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