Manny Pacquiao: What next?
By Tom Drury: Manny Pacquiao is the greatest Asian fighter of all time. He has given the boxing fraternity so many memorable fights, many have come against the Mexican legends namely Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales and Juan Manuel Marquez earning Pacquiao the alias “Mexicutioner”. The most memorable fights have come fighting the Mexican legend that is Juan Manuel Marquez we could also call these fights some of the most controversial fights in recent boxing history.
These two men have faced off four times throughout there careers. While I personally thought Marquez won the first fight even after been knocked down three times, I was sure he won the the third. The decision was beyond belief. I had Marquez up by three rounds. What we do know is in the most recent exchange of leather between these two in December 2012 Marquez left no doubt knocking Pacquiao out in scintillating fashion.
In my opinion Marquez has always been the better boxer but Pacquiao in the early fights had superior power, punch output and work rate. Marquez though, it was clear could land at will against Pacquiao down to his counter-punching fighting style but just lacked the power to make it count.
During the build up to Pacquiao-Marquez 4 it was clear Marquez was hungrier than ever determined to avenge the controversial decisions that went against him. Marquez and his team focused on speed and power throughout the whole training camp and that decision was the undoing of the Pacman.
What I don’t understand as a mere fan is it was clear after the first fight Marquez had Paquiaos number the only department lacking in Marquez’s fightgame was K.O power. If Marquez had implemented this training camp in the earlier fights Pacquiao would have been exposed as a brawler and reckless fighter much sooner. I’m not taking anything away from the Filipino. I just stand by my opinion that a reckless brawler will never win against a genuine boxer.
I like Pacquiao as a man and enjoy Pacquiao’s fighting style as he leaves everything in the ring with his warlike mentality. Unfortunately this mentality damages your health. Pacquiao has sustained five losses throughout his career three have come by way of knockout his most recent was devastating leaving him unconscious on the canvass for 2-3 minutes. This knockout was reminiscent of the one Pacquiao handed out to Ricky Hatton.
Hatton has never been the same man-fighter since that knockout. Pacquiao is respected and admired by boxing fans all over the world and has a whole country behind him in his native Philippines. In 2013, Pacquiao and Marquez are set to face off for a fifth time. While I am the first to admit it is an exciting prospect, I feel the outcome will be the same Marquez has proved he has Pacquiao’s number and Pacquiao and his team have proved they cant adjust or implement a game plan to nullify or K.O “El Dynamita”.
Pacquiao has been great for boxing and as I’ve mentioned some of the most memorable fights in recent history. I feel Pacquiao will be one of many fighters who does not know when to hang up the gloves. Watching Pacquiao start losing regularly would make for uncomfortable viewing as I and many fans hold him in such high regard in the boxing world and outside it. The worst case scenario would be Pacquiao sustaining permanent health issues. You would think Freddie Roach, the trainer of Pacquiao, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease which was ultimately the result of taking too much punishment in his boxing career, would advise Paquiao to hang up the gloves.