Judging by frequency of mention on social media platforms, there is more interest in the minds of fight fans regarding what sort of fight the Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley rematch will look like, more so than how the Floyd Mayweather-Marcos Maidana tiff will play out. I haven't seen one single soul picking the Argentine to derail the "Money" train, but there is no shortage of folks liking Bradley to beat Pacman.
Me, I wonder if the result of that April 26 tangle hinges on what sort of strategies and tactics Pacquiao employs. If we see "old Manny" in there, if that guy is still capable of being unleashed, the one with the magnificent ability to pair vicious aggression with superb accuracy, don't you think that ups his chances of defeating the 31-0 Californian?
Trainer Freddie Roach, for one, makes no secret of his belief that Manny is best when he's "old" Manny, the dialed-in destroyer type.
There are theories, some benign, some more odious and accusatory, as to why the return of that old intent is impossible.
He got old...he got too religious...he got off the superb supplements...
I see and hear all those explanations being bandied about.
Roach, though, says he regularly lobbies for the 55-5-2 Manny to get into that nasty mode, the mode that was present for significant portions in his to date last fight with Juan Manuel Marquez.
"Can you force it, no, it's his decision," said Roach about the ability/willingness to be a seek-and-destroyer type.
He believes Bradley's pronouncement that Manny has lost the ability to be a stopper will help the 35-year-old Pacman, because the Congressman "likes to prove people wrong.
"I have found in the Bible, there's some killer instinct in the Bible, Manny's very into the Bible, and I will show him those verses," the trainer said.
I chuckled, not knowing that Roach had a command of pertinent passages in the good book.
"You gotta do what you gotta do," said Dedham Freddie, grinning. "I don't know the Bible well, but I've had people research it for me. There's a lot of war, a lot of violence, a lot of killer instinct in there.
"It's been four years since he had a knockout, and I told Manny, 'That's why your paydays are getting are lower and the pay-per-view audiences (have dropped off some). That's what people really wanna see, they wanna see knockouts."
Simple and straight to the point, irrefutable wisdom from Coach Roach.
Now it remains to be see if Pacman can follow the plan, and make the 30-year-old Bradley flashback to when Ruslan Provodnikov had him concussed and fighting on muscle memory and guts galore.
Readers, your thoughts, please. Is seek and destroy Manny still in the Congressman?
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