TO FREDDIE Roach, the revered boxing trainer, Manny Pacquiao has got only one option: Score a knockout in Macau.
That, of course, is easier said than done.
So, please don’t tell that to curious fight fans in our chaotic streets, who have been breathing and dreaming Pacquiao starting with the 20-day fight countdown yesterday.
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How wonderful to know there’s not a single Freddie Roach among countless Pacquiao devotees we’ve encountered thus far.
Majority of local boxing fans, attuned and grimly concerned, wanted to know if Pacquiao is capable of winning again.
Whether it be via stoppage or decision is beside the point.
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There has been a grave concern owing to Pacquiao’s detestable departure after he was sent out abruptly by a career-stopping killer right from Mexican great Juan Manuel Marquez last December.
Pacquiao, 34, must be able to demonstrate he’s back.
More than a knockout, he must be able to resurrect his career with a redeeming win.
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There’s no reason to doubt Pacquiao has indeed worked himself back to killer form.
He was honestly determined when he cried he’s hungry again.
Pacquiao also had solid reasons to cry that losing is not an option.
However, fans are divided on how Pacquiao would be able to resurrect himself come fight time around noon in Macau on Nov. 24.
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There are those who seriously wonder if Pacquiao, this late in his career, would be able to sustain his fire if and when the fight against Rios draws to the concluding rounds.
Another thing: Can he still survive killer shots, the way he had stayed on through the bombs absorbed from the likes of Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito?
Pacquiao could indeed be feeling cocksure (about a victory) when he claimed losing is not an option.
That, of course, is no guarantee that he won’t lose.
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Yes, one win and the sky could again be the limit for the Pacman, the latest option now includes a possible clash with Floyd Mayweather Jr. (as dangled by Bob Arum yesterday).
Truth to tell, though, there are questions, including those regarding stamina and staying power, that get properly answered only at the height of unforgiving battle.