Philippines Typhoon: Manny Pacquiao Training Camp Unaffected, Will Fight Brandon Rios November 23 [VIDEO]
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A loss to Rios would cement the perception of Pacquiao as on the downslope of a legendary career, while an impressive knockout victory against the young challenger could stave off rumors of his demise.
Complicating matters is Super typhoon Haiyan, which is smacking Pacquiao's home country, the Philippines, with winds ripping at speeds of up to 195 miles per hour. As a congressman in the Philippines, this devastating storm, which is potentially the most violent storm ever recorded, could be a major distraction to his camp.
Pacquiao has held his entire camp in the Philippines for this fight; he normally holds the beginning portion at home before shifting it to trainer Freddie Roach's California gym. Top Rank executives have been in contact with Pacman, who assured them his camp and facilities are far south of where Haiyan is causing wreckage.
When an earthquake crushed Haiti, Andre Berto withdrew from a bout with Shane Mosley in order to assists with the fallout. In that scenario, however, Berto had lost eight family members. According to reports more than 25 million people figure to be hit by this super typhoon, so the damage will be severe, but Pacquiao intends to go through with his fight.
In the past Pacquiao's decline has been attributed to a lack of focus on the sport due to his political commitments in the Philippines. This will only serve to further divert his attention, while the hungry Rios is focused solely on Pacquiao, claiming he will "retire" him.
Pacquiao has brushed off any talk of retirement, win or lose. "I feel comfortable and confident about going on to win this fight, but I am not looking to retire if I lose this fight," Pacquiao said on HBO's Face Off.