MANILA, Philippines – Filipino ring icon Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao had taken control of his fourth encounter with Mexican rival Juan Manuel Marquez when “Dinamita” caught him with a perfect counter-right hand with one second to go in the sixth round.
The perfect punch – which Pacquiao later described as “lucky” – sent the Pacman face down to the canvas, and gave Marquez the definitive victory over the Filipino that he had been yearning for.
Nearly a year later, with Pacquiao returning to the ring for the first time since that December bout, the “Pacman” said he will not make the same mistake with his November 24 opponent, the hard-hitting Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios.
“I never go looking for the knockout,” Pacquiao said in a Boxing Scene report. “But you can be sure that after getting careless with Juan Manuel Marquez, I won’t be setting myself up for getting knocked out.”
“With age comes maturity, and with maturity comes patience. I will not rush in looking to knock Rios out, but if the opportunity presents itself, I will go for it,” he said.
Rios, however, has vowed to give Pacquiao flashbacks of his knockout at the hands of Marquez.
“If Manny Pacquiao feels that he has an advantage, he will change his way of thinking when he feels my punch,” Rios guaranteed in a separate Boxing Scene report.
“He’s going to start thinking, ‘Aww man, I remember when Juan Manuel Marquez hit me like this!’ Therefore, I believe he will change his way of thinking, but it will be too late,” he added.
“Because when I’m there, and I give him the first punch, I’m going to start doing what I do best – fight, give it my all, balls out like I always do for my fans. I leave my heart in the ring.”
Pacquiao is confident, however, especially as he had an “excellent training camp” and is feeling refreshed after taking a 10-month break from boxing following his loss to Marquez.
“I have never done that before,” Pacquiao said, referring to his long layoff. “My legs have an extra bounce to them, and I feel so strong and fast. (Trainer) Freddie (Roach) has studied a lot of film of Rios’ fights, and has developed a very special plan for fighting him.”
“The question isn’t ‘Am I ready for Rios?’ It’s ‘Is Rios ready for me?’”