Thursday, 20 September 2012 21:21

Manny Pacquiao | PacMan to be Fierce Again?

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Prior to his November 2010 bout with Antonio Margarito, Manny Pacquiao was an aggressive, blood-thirsty ball of Filipino Fire who reeked havoc on the boxing world, slicing and dicing his way through opponent after opponent.

However, Manny Pacquiao hasn't scored a knockout since 2009 and to some, the kindler, gentler PacMan seems more like a "really sweet guy" than "blood-thirsty gentleman" these days.

Despite showing flashes of his former self, the ring fierceness that helped spawn his meteoric rise has dwindled the past two years.

Has Manny Pacquiao, once a fighter of unmitigated destruction, gone tame?

Has he lost his 'killer instinct?'

Killer instinct, a euphemism for ruthlessness, is the ability within a person to hurt another person for non-self defense purposes. Fighters are typically thought to innately possess this nature, at least inside the ring.

Perhaps realizing nice guys in the ring typically don't finish first, Manny Pacquiao said Wednesday:

Pictured: Manny Pacquiao gets mitts work from trainer Freddie Roach
Photo: Chris Farina / Top Rank


"My focus this time is to go for the knockout. I am a good counter-puncher, too. But that makes for a boring fight. I want to make the fight exciting. I don't want the fans to be bored."

"I need to be more aggressive in this fight," Pacquiao added. "I want a win that isn't close like the last three. It has to be a decisive victory."

"I will fight and train like the old Manny, the 25-year-old Manny."

His team also believes Manny Pacquiao, perhaps saddled with too many outside-the-ring distractions, has lacked the proverbial 'eye of the tiger' the two years. Recently trainer Freddie Roach, perhaps hinting Manny Pacquiao hasn't had the same fire in his belly he once possessed, stated:

Pictured: Manny Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach
Photo: Chris Farina / Top Rank


"Manny told me he knows he needs a knockout. He's never said that before. My job is to reignite the killer instinct Manny has lacked in (his) fights with Marquez."

... The killer instinct Manny lacked with Marquez? It can be argued PacMan held back against Antonio Margarito, Shane Mosley and Timothy Bradley as well. With each fighter, Pacquiao seemingly had chances to lay the smackdown on his opponent and earn a knockout but, for whatever reason, didn't. 

Perhaps his June loss to Timothy Bradley, albeit highly controversial, will serve as wake-up call for PacMan?

Coinciding with his team's concerns about Pacquiao's appeitite for destruction, his frequent hints of retirement earlier this year along with his many obligations outside the ring- such as his work on behalf of the Catholic Church, his responsibilities as a congressman and his singing/acting career - have many wondering about PacMan's devotion to the sport.

Regardless of his level of dedication, Manny Pacquaio must rekindle that 'eye of the tiger' if he wants to regain his status as the world's top fighter and one of the most electrifying athletes on earth.

Manny Pacquiao vs Juan Manuel Marquez IV will take place December 8.

Will we see the Manny Pacquiao of old or simply an old, tame PacMan try to cruise to a decision victory while attempting to minimize the pain he inflicts? 

"Now, when we fought, you had that eye of the tiger, man; The Edge! And now you gotta get it back, and the way to get it back is to go back to the beginning. You know what I mean?"

- Apollo Creed, Rocky III

Lee Cleveland

Lee is Managing Editor of, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.