Manny Pacquiao’s wins and losses record from the past two years doesn’t really tell the whole story. If you just look at the numbers, here is what the Filipino champ’s totals over the past 24 months look like: three wins, one loss. Of course, anyone who actually saw those four fights would tell you that it's not really that simple.
For one thing, Pacquiao absolutely dominated Antonio Margarito and Shane Mosley in November of 2010 and May of 2011, respectively. The beating he handed Margarito was so bad, in fact, that Margarito had to be transported to the hospital immediately afterward because there was so much concern about his fractured orbital bone. It never got as gruesome in the Mosley fight – but only because Mosley spent most of it running away from Pacquiao. It was a shameful display, really, but it did go some ways in reaffirming how dominant the champ was at that time.
Unfortunately, things took a turn for the not-so-good last November when Pacquiao accepted a third fight versus his arch rival, Juan Manuel Marquez. Although Manny ultimately emerged from that bout victorious, he did not emerge unscathed. A lot of people felt as though he should have lost the match and, more importantly, his lack of dominance throughout made some fans question whether or not he was beginning to slow down.
This past June, Pacquiao was handed his first defeat in about eight years when a couple of inept judges gave Timothy Bradley an undeserved victory over him. While nobody doubts that Pacquiao deserved to win that match, there is also no denying that he didn’t look as crisp as he used to. He should have knocked Bradley out early. The fact that he didn’t (or couldn’t), says a lot about where he is right now.
During a recent interview with Boxing Scene, Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, broke down his guy’s upcoming showdown versus Marquez. In doing so, he also acknowledged that Manny needs to make a statement in this one – something he hasn’t done in a very, very long time.
"[Marquez] will be more hittable and not so much a counter-puncher. I think we need a knockout to secure his number one spot in the world. He needs to be impressive and a knockout would be impressive," Roach told Boxing Scene.
"In the first one [Pacquiao] was aggressive in the beginning of that fight. In the second fight we had one knockdown and in the third fight we had none. He just lost that killer instinct. In the first fight he was trying to knock him out, but Marquez is very resilient also. You have to take that factor in also. We need to bring back that killer instinct where he finishes guys like he used to."
One way or another, Pacquiao will send a message with how he performs on Dec. 8. That message will either be that he is still the most dominant pound-for-pounder in boxing today, or that he is passed his prime and needs to retire ASAP.
Which one will it ultimately be? We’ll all find out together in slightly less than two months.