Michael Koncz, the adviser for Manny Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KO’s), is very impressed with the way that Manny is training for his bout next month against Brandon Rios (31-1-1, 23 KO’s) on November 23 at the Cotai Arena, Venetian Resort, Macao, Macao S.A.R., China.
Koncz sees intensity in Pacquiao’s workouts that he’s never spotted before in the years that he’s been with him. Pacquiao, 34, is coming off of a bad knockout loss in his last fight against Juan Manuel Marquez last December and a lot of boxing fans think it’s not a good idea for him to be continuing his career after such a devastating KO.
There also a lot of fans who suspect that Pacquiao will never be the same after that loss, and that he could be asking for trouble by taking this fight against the powerful Rios.
Koncz said to Philboxing.com “Manny is doing his training religiously. He knows the importance of this fight and I have never seen him train as hard as this one.”
Pacquiao doesn’t just have one loss that he’s coming back from. He’s got two losses. He was beaten by Tim Bradley in June of last year in a controversial defeat and then stopped by Marquez last December.
Pacquiao’s fans don’t recognize the loss to Bradley as being a legitimate loss, but it is still a defeat. There’s no getting around the fact that Pacquiao did not shine in that fight, and many ways he looked as helpless as Marquez did in his recent defeat at the hands of Bradley.
Pacquiao was beaten to the punch by Bradley in the second half of their fight, and he looked befuddled much of the time. Pacquiao and his fans can kid themselves that he didn’t deserve the loss to Bradley, but the fact is he didn’t fight well enough when the fight was on the line in the 2nd half and he deserved to lose the fight.
Pacquiao is going to need to fight especially hard on November 23rd if he’s to turn back the hands of time, because age is definitely becoming a factor for him now. He’ll be turning 35 next December, and he’s probably not going to be another Bernard Hopkins and fight through his upper 40s. At 34, Pacquiao is struggling right now and that’s not a good sign.
It’s nice that Pacquiao is training harder, but it might not matter. When you reach a certain age or have sustained an especially brutal KO, training is not going to save you. It’s possible that all the amount of training that Pacquiao is doing now will be wasted when and if Rios beats him on November 23rd.