Manny Pacquiao should not have lost to Timothy Bradley last year. You can be the Filipino star’s biggest fan or harshest critic, and that indisputable fact remains, well, indisputable. It goes without saying that he should have been able to knock his hobbled, injured opponent out – or at the very least dominate him far more than he did. But his victory was clear to everyone besides the two incompetent judges who ruled the other way.
That being said, there is also no debate regarding Pacquiao’s loss to Juan Manuel Marquez. That was as definitive a defeat as you’ll ever have. If anyone had any doubts regarding who the better fighter was heading into that Dec. 2012 showdown, they had about a minute while Pacquiao was regaining consciousness to change their minds. (Yes, Pacquiao was winning on every judge’s scorecard heading into that now-infamous punch; however, the only thing that matters is the final result.)
Based on recent history it wouldn’t seem to be too much of a stretch to suggest that Pacquiao needed to regain his footing; that he was at least partially culpable in the Bradley loss for not being more aggressive, and that he was definitely responsible for the Marquez loss seeing as he pretty much walked into that counter.
Unfortunately, rather than own up to his losses – Pacquiao seems to be chalking it up to bad luck.
"I lost to Marquez but it's just a lucky punch, just part of the game,” he told Ring. “I was not dominated.”
No, he wasn’t dominated. But he lost. And they don’t give points in the wins/losses tabulations for not being dominated. Or should we go back and take Pacquiao’s prior two victories over Marquez away because he didn’t dominate those?
The first step to recovery is admitting that something is wrong. Pacquiao needs to realize that he hasn’t been himself for a long time now – way before the Bradley loss. Blaming fate isn’t going to cut it. The former eight division champ needs to look within, identify the problems and correct them. Because if he doesn’t, his next fight against Brandon Rios may very well be his last one ever.