Manny Pacquiao hasn’t beaten anyone by knockout since 2009. He hasn’t come close to knocking anyone out since 2010. Brandon Rios has one loss on his record and it came by unanimous decision. He has an iron chin and has never even come close to being dropped by an opponent. Any which way you want to look at it, when Pacquiao and Rios square off this November, the likelihood of the latter being knocked out by the former doesn’t appear to be particularly great.
That being said, despite what common sense tells us, Pacquiao’s camp is apparently working towards that precise finish. They don’t want to squeak out a controversial win over Rios; leaving it up to the judges, in the post-Timothy Bradley loss Era, apparently doesn’t seem like a great option. Freddie Roach wants his guy to win in definitive fashion, and according to comments his rep made to the Manila Standard Today, that’s what he’s currently preparing Pacquaiao for.
“We will be preparing Manny to win by knockout, no more, no less,” an e-mail sent to the Manila Standard Today, quoting Roach, read. “Coach Freddie knows how important Manny’s coming fight with Brandon Rios is to the remainder of his career. He prepared a build up regimen needed to achieve our purpose.”
Now, it’s worth noting: While Pacquiao hasn’t knocked anyone out in four years, that’s not entirely his fault. Starting with Joshua Clottey and ending with Shane Mosley, the Filipino star faced a bunch of guys who ran away from him for 12 rounds. However, against Bradley, Pacquao had ample time to knock a hobbled, injured opponent out, and he failed to capitalize on that opportunity. Similarly, he had Juan Manuel Marquez staggered last December, and he just couldn’t pull the trigger when it mattered most.
“Coach Freddie hasn’t revealed yet what kind of preparations awaits, but what he told us is that it will be the toughest ever for Manny in an effort to keep him focused in training without any distractions which affected his build up program before,” the e-mail noted.
Out-of-ring distractions have plagued Pacquiao his entire career, but it’s unlikely that they’re what have prevented him from knocking opponents out over the last few years. That can be attributed to a decrease in power and general athleticism.
Will Pacquiao win this November? Maybe. Will it be by knockout? Absolutely not.