Manny Pacquiao is coming off consecutive losses. Regardless of how you feel about the judges’ scoring in his showdown against Timothy Bradley, the record is what the record is. And to be fair, even though any unbiased observer will agree that he clearly beat Bradley, Pacquiao deserves at least some of the blame for how that bout turned out given the countless opportunities he had to secure victory over a worn down, hobbled opponent.
So, yeah, two straight losses. Generally, when people -- especially people who are former eight division champions -- lose that many fights in a row, they take it as a sign that their strategy needs to be tweaked. Maybe in major way, maybe in a minor way – but something needs to change.
Interestingly enough, though, Pacquiao doesn’t seem to buy into that theory. Rather than committing to bettering himself and his fight plan, the Filipino star recently expressed a lot of confidence in his ability to beat Rios.
"I saw him [Rios] fight before,” he told the South China Morning Post. “I have confidence for the fight. Part of my confidence comes from experience and I believe I am stronger than him and of course, I have God.”
That last bit notwithstanding, Pacquiao seems to really buy into the idea that Rios isn’t strong enough to knock him out. Is that a smart way of thinking for a guy coming off a devastating knockout loss? Well...
More important than Pacquiao’s confidence, however, is how he is approaching this match-up. And by his own account, he isn’t doing anything special for it.
"It's difficult for me because I haven't fought since last December, but what I need to do this time is to prepare and to start working out and get back the condition I had before,” he said. “I need to prepare for the fight for at least three months. I will stay in the Philippines because there's no time difference between Macau and the Philippines.
"I usually do one hour of running in the morning and in the afternoon I will do two hours in the gym. That's normal for me. I won't do anything different compared to last time.”
So despite the fact that what he did last time, you know, didn’t work – Pacquiao is sticking with it. Mind you, when Amir Khan, another Freddie Roach fighter went on a two-fight losing streak (sorta), he dumped Roach. That’s not to say Pacquiao needs to drop his longtime coach, it’s just an example of the drastic measures some take when they sense momentum shifting in the wrong direction.
But apparently Pacquiao isn’t getting that feeling. Is he making a mistake being this nonchalant about everything that has transpired over the past year? We’ll all find out together on Nov. 23.