Manny Pacquiao Fight 2013: Pacman Has Longest Training Camp Of Career For Brandon Rios, Made 'No Mistakes' Vs. Juan Manuel Marquez [VIDEO]
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The legend and former claimant to the pound-for-pound crown is on a two-fight losing streak. A loss to Rios could end his viability as a bankable pay-per-view attraction. This training camp, I believe, is one of the longest preparations in my boxing career. I trained early because I want to prove that I can still fight in the top (tier) of boxing," Pacquiao said Wednesday. "This time my preparation is more serious, more focused. My mind is like when I was 20 years old."
Pacquiao has dropped his last two fights. The first loss came against Timothy Bradley; the decision was widely disputed, and most observers believe Pacquiao won the fight easily. However, Pacman didn't show the devastating power that transformed him into arguably boxing's biggest star.
He then eschewed a rematch with Bradley to fight Juan Manuel Marquez for the fourth time. In the pair's first three bouts, Pacquiao fought to a draw in the first bout, and then defeated Marquez in two close matchups. This time, Marquez entered the ring with a larger physique than ever, and defeated Manny by viciously knocking him out in the sixth round.
The knockout caused boxing fans to wonder if Pacman was done as a superstar, but he doesn't feel that fight stained him. "I don't think I had a mistake in that fight. If you look back... I had 100 percent conditioning, aggressiveness. That (defeat) is part of boxing. I accept 100 percent what happened in the last fight," he said.
Another theory is that his stardom, and subsequent political career in the Philippines were distractions that diverted his focus from boxing. Pacquiao's training camp was mostly off limits to the public this time, and he appears solely focused on knocking out Rios. His own trainer, Freddie Roach, is on record saying if Rios knocks Manny out, he should hang up his gloves.
"It's over, 100 percent [if Pacquiao is knocked out by Rios]," Roach said. "We have a deal. When I tell him it's over, he'll say it's over and that's it. He's pretty loyal with his words and if that happens, it will be the end."