It’s been two years since Manny Pacquiao won a boxing match. After two straight defeats, the fighter is doing everything in his power to get his 55th career victory.
Pacquiao is currently training for his next fight, which is scheduled to take place on Nov. 23 in Macau, China. The 34-year-old will take on Brandon Rios for the vacant WBO International Welterweight title.
The bout is his first since he was knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez last December. Six months earlier, he lost to Timothy Bradley, though the decision was among the more controversial ones in recent memory. Following his losing streak, Pac-Man is out to prove that he’s still one of the elite athletes in the sport.
"This training camp, I believe, is one of the longest preparations in my boxing career. I trained early because I want to prove that I can still fight in the top (tier) of boxing," Pacquiao told reporters in the Philippines.
In the past, Pacquiao has suffered from over-training. Leading up to Pacquiao-Marquez III in 2011, the veteran trained for 10 weeks instead of his normal eight. Pacquiao ended up winning a majority decision, but it might not have been as difficult if he hadn’t changed his regimen.
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"Just a bad night. I over trained him, won't happen again," trainer Freddie Roach said on Twitter after the fight.
Pacquiao knows what he’s up against in Rios. The American is seven years younger than Pacquiao with a career record of 31-1-1.
Rios is coming off a loss, as well. He was beaten by Mike Alvarado in March for the first defeat of his career. Despite the results of Pacquiao’s last two fights, Rios is getting ready to face one of the best boxers in the world.
"We're training for the Pacquiao that has done everything," trainer Robert Garcia told RingTV.com "The Pacquiao that is so fast, and so powerful, and who has knocked everybody out. We're preparing for the Pacquiao that's scary.”
If Pacquiao wants to get back to the top of the sport, he’ll need an impressive showing against Rios. Marquez, who knocked out Pacquiao last year, lost a split decision to Bradley on Oct. 12. Pacquiao, however, is ready to move forward from his recent failures.
"I don't think I had a mistake in that fight. If you look back... I had 100 percent conditioning, aggressiveness. That (defeat) is part of boxing. I accept 100 percent what happened in the last fight.”