TREVOR ISBELL WRITES – A palpable hue of anticipation seizes the Philippine Islands as the Filipino professional boxer, Manny Pacquiao, gears up for his bout against what some are calling his next victim, American boxer, Brandon Rios.
Filipino boxing fans are brimming with expectation as Pacquiao seems hungrier than ever and in a hurry to get over of his last two losses by showing the world just how dangerous he is with a powerful knock out in this upcoming fight scheduled for November 23rd.
Still the second highest paid athlete in the world, Pacquiao suffered a brutal sixth round knock out by the fist of Mexican boxer Manuel Marquez last December, and another loss due to a controversial split decision with Timothy Bradley, from the U.S., last June. Despite these career setbacks, Pacquiao, already training harder than his trainers would like considering the four weeks left before the fight, insists it isn’t enough, claiming “I need to train more.” Apparently fueled by his recent defeats, he tells the Inquirer, “I am hungry.”
While Pacquiao fans are excited to see their hero in peak physical condition fighting his way back to the top of boxing, other critics are not as optimistic in their regards for the now thirty-five year old fighter. Alex Ariza, former strength coach for Pacquiao, is now the strength and conditioning coach for Brandon Rios. He believes Rios will be able to topple the seemingly aged Pacquiao. Others worry that another possible knock out by the hands of the young Rios would be devastating to Pacquiao’s career, and perhaps an indicator that his gloves are now better suited for a hanger on his wall rather than his fists.
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