After dominating the sport of boxing for years, Manny Pacquiao finds himself in the midst of a losing streak after with defeats to Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez.
On Nov.24, Pac-Man will look to turn things around as he steps into the ring with Brandon Rios. If Pacquiao can’t pick up his 55th career win against Rios, he many never get another chance to do so.
A loss for Pacquiao would compel his trainer, Freddie Roach, to advise the boxer to retire.
“If you lose three in a row it’s your time,” Roach told ESPN.com. “He’s up there in age (34). I’ve got to keep a close eye on him. It’s part of my job to protect him. I will do the right thing. I don’t want him to be a stepping stone (for other fighters).”
Pacquiao’s recent string of losses could be an indication that it’s time to hang up his gloves. The boxer was once untouchable, winning 15 straight fights between 2005 and 2011. A loss against Rios, though, would give Pacquiao as many losses in two years as he had in the first 16 years of his career.
Just because Roach would suggest that Pacquiao should call it quits doesn’t mean the boxer would retire. The trainer, though, does have a lot of influence over the eight-division world champ.
While consecutive defeats could be a sign that Pacquiao is no longer the fighter that he used to be, the back-to-back losses might be a little misleading. He was knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez in December, but his fight against Timothy Bradley was one of the most controversial decisions in recent memory. He lost a split decision, but most experts agreed that Pacquiao should’ve been named the winner.
Roach is confident heading into Pacquiao’s next fight. He advised Pac-Man to take on Rios because he believes the 34-year-old is suited to handle his opponent’s style. The trainer isn’t expecting this to be Pacquiao’s last fight.
However, another loss may prove that Pacquiao isn’t near the top of the sport, anymore. Besides the money and drug testing issues, a fight with Floyd Mayweather isn’t a likely possibility because of Pacquiao’s recent struggles. Mayweather has stated that Pac-Man has to start winning before the two will ever meet in the ring.
Rios isn’t the best fighter that Pacquiao will ever face, but the Nov.24 bout could end up being the one that changes the course of his boxing career.