Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Will All Of These Distractions Be The Down Fall Of Manny Pacquiao?

by King J
bleacherreport.com

In numerous interviews on ESPN, Bernard Hopkins has stated that he feels Manny Pacquiao is the current number one pound for pound fighter in the world; and he's also stated that the only way Manny will lose, is if he makes himself lose.

So that essentially means, that no one can defeat Pacquiao right now for he is in his prime and in the zone. But, if he starts to slack in training or get's too distracted, a defeat could be waiting in the wings.

With report after report arising about the significant distractions and drama affecting Pacquiao's training camp, it can only be disadvantages for the pound for pound fighter.

From the various TV and movie rolls, public appearances, future political plans, typhoons and humanitarian work, Manny may just have too much on his plate right now. Don't forget the recent drama with his financial advisor Michael Koncz, getting beat up by his strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza.

It really does sound like HBO has a very interesting 24/7 on their hands.

I began to worry about Manny when he was sitting ringside for the Clottey v Cotto fight. I saw Manny distracted from everything around him and not focusing on the fight. It appeared to be the look of over confidence as he witnessed Cotto struggling against the durable, tough Clottey.

In past Pacquiao fights, when Manny has been rather distracted, the most seemed to be during his first fight with Erik Morales, the Oscar Larios match and his rematches with Marco Antonio Barrera and Juan Manuel Marquez.

Whether it was management troubles, rock star lifestyle partying, or being too over confident, Manny's performance in the ring was affected by these distractions.

The first Morales fight was Manny's last loss. I felt the fact he wasn't able to wear his signature Reyes puncher gloves, really affected him. Pacquiao without his Reyes gloves is like Popeye without his spinach.

In both the rematch and rubber match, Pacquiao was able to wear his Reyes gloves and gave Morales his first knockdown of his career and first stoppage. He then totally destroyed him in the three rounds of the rubber match.

In the Oscar Larios fight, which was back in his homeland at the famous Araneta Coliseum, many criticized Manny for not training as hard as he should have and not stopping Larios; but letting it go to a full 12 round decision. Other rumors indicated that Manny intentionally carried Larios for the full 12 rounds to fit in sufficient time to endorse all of his sponsors.

This rumor can be viewed as more credible, as in the post fight ring interview, Manny was holding many different soda and energy drinks; as well as wearing several different endorsement hats.

In the Marco Antonio Barrera and Juan Manuel Marquez fights, it was reported that Manny was enjoying his new rock star party life style and was not 100 percent devoted to training.

The HBO countdown series focused more on Manny's distractions than his actual training.

In both the Barrera and Marquez rematch, Paquiao took it to a decision win. The Marquez rematch ended up as one of the most highly debated split decision wins in recent boxing history.

Now, when Pacquiao is fully focused and in prime animal conditioning, it can be hard to view him losing at all. Evidence of this can be seen in his near perfect fights with the stopping of Oscar De La Hoya and the demolition of Ricky Hatton.

Miguel Cotto is also a machine that will not quit. His only loss came from the highly suspected illegally plastered hands of Antonio Margarito. When ever Cotto was hurt or down, he came back up to win like a true champion should.

But one thing is for sure entering Nov. 14, Cotto will be the toughest fight of Paquiao's career. Cotto is the true Welterweight Champion of the world. He is the strongest, most devastating body puncher Manny will ever step into the ring with. Miguel Cotto is not a fighter to be taken lightly, over looked or to fight after a camp full of drama and distractions.

As a big fan of both Cotto and Pacquiao, one can not be more than happy that this fight will be happening in less than a month.

Again, these two guys have been keeping the sport of boxing alive. When many criticize boxing to be growing more and more boring and dying, one can easily defend it by showing them any of Pacquiao or Cotto's fights.

So having both of these men in the ring with each other can only be a true fight fan's dream.

Miguel Cotto has been taking this fight very seriously- to the point of possibly over training himself- as he started weeks before Pacquiao even began training camp.

As for Pacquiao, until I see footage of him flooring and destroying much larger, stronger, sparring partners in camp at the Wild Card gym on a daily basis, I will not feel entirely comfortable about his performance come fight night.

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