MANILA, Philippines – Manny Pacquiao will need to regain the old speed that he was known for if he wants an unquestionable victory against Juan Manuel Marquez.
Asian Correspondent’s Edwin Espejo, who has followed Pacquiao’s career through the years, said the Filipino boxing icon remains a powerful puncher but has considerably slowed down in his last few fights.
“In his last three fights, Pacquiao has shown a remarkable dip in his speed. No thanks to his erratic training regimen and the many distractions that attended his training camp. Of course, Pacquiao has also aged and speed is the first casualty of the aging process, said Espejo in his column Pacquiao Watch.
Espejo said the lack of hunger may have also contributed to the deterioration of Pacquiao’s speed.
He then cited comparisons between Pacquiao’s defeats to Erik Morales in 2005 and Timothy Bradley last June.
“When he lost to Erik Morales in their first fight in 2005, Pacquiao was a picture of a dejected but defiant loser. With Bradley, he looked more like a forgiving preacher, his disbelief masked by his dry smile. Something in that night suggested Pacquiao lost some of his zeal and hunger,” said Espejo, adding that this lack caused Pacquiao to be lethargic.
But the fighting congressman could not afford to be lethargic against Marquez on December 8, Espejo said.
“Pacquiao needs to run circle around Marquez and discard his recently developed habit of standing in front of his opponent,” he said.
“To sum it all up, all he need is speed, speed and speed as he is still the bigger puncher.”
Pacquiao will be facing Marquez for the fourth time after their first three encounters all ended in controversy. They settled for a draw in the first one, Pacquiao won the next two bouts on points.