After an 11 month hiatus, the athlete who had served as our greatest source of excitement will finally return to action. And no, we’re not talking about Maria Sharapova.
This Sunday morning (Manila time), Manny Pacquiao will face former lightweight and super lightweight title-holder, Brandon "Bam-Bam" Rios for a minor welterweight championship belt at the Cotai Arena in Macau, China.
Under normal circumstances, we would expect Manny to quickly devour the game but slower Rios, whose brawling style is tailor-made for Pacquiao. But the events leading to this moment, such as the horrifying Marquez episode; the inability to finish off Bradley; Manny's long layoff; and the Roach/Ariza scuffle from a couple of days ago, have certainly made things a lot more complex.
We've always viewed Manny as a supremely skilled warrior who, at any given moment, can obliterate his adversary. However, after the crazy developments that took place, who knows what kind of Manny Pacquiao we will see this weekend?
One simply can’t help but imagine Manny operating on a serving of different modes in his comeback fight. That's exactly what we'll be tackling in this fight preview: a detailed breakdown of the many versions of Manny Pacquiao.
Manny The Fading Champ?
Pacquiao becoming that faded champion who's trying desperately to cling to his prime is a sight we'd like to see as much as we'd like to walk into our parents' bedroom while they're doing the nasty. Yikes! After suffering two consecutive losses, arguments saying that Pacquiao is on the decline began popping out, naturally drawing negative and fearful reactions.
Some fans, although still believers, can't get rid of that annoying little voice in their heads that keeps on warning them, "Baka di na kaya ni Idol." And who can blame them after the conclusion of Pacquiao-Marquez 4? Seeing Manny Pacquiao moving around the ring like a shadow of his former self, getting pounced on by an exuberant Rios, is what the fans are afraid of—and what his detractors are eagerly anticipating.
Safe to say, this isn't the Pacquiao we wish to see in the upcoming fight. Simply put, the man deserves a better ending.
NEXT: The Manny we really, really, really want to see