(PHILSTAR) By Dino Maragay - Boxing icon Manny Pacquiao, seeking redemption from back-to-back losses, is set to kick off his two-month training in his hometown of General Santos City in preparation for his fight against Brandon Rios in November.

In a column he personally wrote in, Pacquiao said he is ready to banish the ghost of a devastating sixth-round knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez last December.

The fighting congressman, however, couldn’t hide the pain brought by the biggest defeat of his career.

“Alam kong marami ang nalungkot at nadismaya sa aking pagkatalo noong isang taon at ito rin ay nagbigay sa akin ng matinding hinagpis dahil hindi ako nagkaroon ng pagkakataon na maiwagayway ang ating bandera sa ibabaw ng ring. (I know that many got sad and frustrated in my loss last year, something that also gave me tremendous sorrow because I didn’t have a chance to wave our flag atop the ring),” Pacquiao wrote.

He stressed that losing is familiar territory for him, having been defeated four times in his career prior to the Marquez loss. In February last year, he lost to Timothy Bradley in a controversial decision.

“Marami ang naiyak at kahit ako rin ay lubhang nadismaya kahit na maganda naman ang naipakita natin sa laban. Talagang ganyan minsan ang sports, may nananalo, may natatalo, at hindi na ito bago sa akin. (Many cried and even I got frustrated even though I did well in the fight. That’s sports, there’s a winner, there’s a loser, and this is not new to me),” Pacquiao wrote.

“Hindi lang minsan sa aking buhay na natikman ko ang pait ng pagkabigo sa ibabaw at maging sa labas ng ring. Nalasap ko ang pait ng pagkatalo ngunit hindi ito naging sagabal sa pagbabalik at paghangad ng mas mataas pang mga pangarap. (It’s not just once in my life that I’ve failed inside and even outside the ring. I experienced the bitter taste of defeat but it hasn’t been a hurdle to coming back and reaching higher dreams),” added Pacquiao.

Pacquiao then proceeded to narrate how he’s been staying in shape by playing basketball in General Santos City, where he is expected to spend his entire training period.

Meanwhile, Pacquaio’s trainer Freddie Roach is expected to plane in soon to join his ward.

For his part, Pacquiao assured his fans that he is out to regain his old, fiery form, one that enabled him to win world titles in eight divisions.

“With God on our side and a more solid faith in Him more than ever, I believe that we will once again rise to the top. Walang madali lalung-lalo na sa sport na boksing at wala ring shortcuts. (There are no shortcuts in boxing),” he said.

Dito na po ako tumanda sa larangang ito at lubos kong nababatid ang sakripisyo na dapat kong ibigay muli. Para sa mga nawalan ng pag-asa, gagawin ko po ang lahat ng aking makakaya upang maghanda at manumbalik muli ang apoy na lumalagablab sa aking puso upang magwagi sa ibabaw ng ring. (I’ve been in the sport all my life and I understand the sacrifice I need to make. For those who have lost hope, I will do my best to prepare and bring back fire in my belly to win),” he added.

Pacquiao and Rios will clash on Nov. 24 at the Venetian Macao in Macau, China.


Pacquiao not taking foe lightly, starts light training Philippine Daily Inquirer 10:21 pm | Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

GENERAL SANTOS CITY—Eight-division boxing champ Manny Pacquiao has started training for his Nov. 24 fight against Brandon “Bambam” Rios in Macau, China.

Assistant coach Buboy Fernandez described the preparation as light training before the workout shifts to high gear when chief trainer Freddie Roach arrives from the US in the first week of September.

“Coach Freddie will take over upon his arrival here,” said Fernandez yesterday.

Pacquiao jogged at the rubberized track oval of Antonio C. Acharon Memorial Sports Center in Calumpang village for about 15 minutes last Tuesday then played volleyball with the members of team Pacquiao.

Fernandez said the light training is designed to restore Pacquiao’s stamina, noting that the Filipino champion had a long layoff after his loss last December to Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez.

After jogging and playing either volleyball or basketball in the morning, Pacquiao will proceed to his boxing gym in Tambler at 3 p.m. to do abdominal exercises, jump rope, shadow boxing before hitting the speedball.

Fernandez said they are not taking Rios lightly so they decided to train early. He said two conditioning coaches are also coming to help prepare Pacman for the Rios bout.

Pacquiao said he would spend the duration of his longest training camp ever in his boxing career in this city. Aquiles Z. Zonio, Inquirer Mindanao

Picnic or penitence for Pacquiao? By Recah Trinidad Philippine Daily Inquirer
10:06 pm | Monday, August 19th, 2013

PACQUIAO SHOULD BE CAREFUL: Tambong, del Rosario, the former trainer of Rustico Torrecampo, thinks Manny Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KO’s) needs to be extra careful in his fight on November 23rd against Brandon Rios (31-1-1, 23 KO’s). Del Rosario’s concerns are that Pacquiao could hurt against Rios in the same way that he was in his 6th round knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez last December. In that fight Pacquiao disregarded Marquez’s power, and walked into one of his hard right hands in the 6th round that resulted in Pacquiao getting knocked clean out. Del Rosario said Philboxing “Manny should watch out and not make the mistake he committed against Marquez last December. Maybe Rios is younger and lacks experience, but he definitely possesses the strength and endurance that can connect when his rival gets careless.”

WILL it sell hot like exquisite Chinese noodles in Macau or be snubbed like cold rubbery steak by the pay-per-view audience in America?

There are serious questions being raised behind the scenes long before the countdown began for the Manny Pacquiao-Brandon Rios bombs-away showdown in November.

Of course, none of these questions dare tackle the quality of the must-win clash between “boxing’s best offensive stars.”

* * *
Here at home, Pacquiao fans are one in swearing it would be the original Pacquiao, the Pacific Storm, who will be showing up in the gleaming Asian gaming capital to reignite his fading career.

There’s the common belief that Rios, a former world champ who has lost only once but has never been stopped, is sure to be chopped down.

All for the simple fact that Rios, these same fans allege, doesn’t know how to step back inside the ring and thus promises to be a complete picnic package for Pacquiao.

Add to that, fans say, is the fact that Pacquiao is sure to recapture his old firepower, and you have the promise of a delectable stoppage of the Ricky Hatton kind.

* * *
That’s easy to believe.

But there are those who say that, although the Pacman would be very hot and sharp again offensively, he could not do any better in defense as when he last fought and lost to Juan Manuel Marquez on American soil.

Of course, trainer Freddie Roach, sounding cocksure, swore he would not be pleased with anything short of a knockout.

Next looms the image of Pacquiao rising on the shoulders of ecstatic handlers before fans could fully settle on their seats in Macau.

* * *
Not too quick, please.

“He (Pacquiao) commits a lot of mistakes, and these we will surely exploit,” Rios remarked at the start of the world media tour for the Macau showdown.

The way Rios put it, he could take the best of Pacquiao’s punches; how sure is the Filipino superhero that he himself could still take severe punishment?

Of course, Pacquiao has always assured there’ll be no repeat of the nightmare lights-out stoppage he had suffered at the hands of the dedicated, hard-working Marquez last December.

Either Pacquiao was careless, or Marquez was lucky to be at the perfect spot at the right time?

* * *
Truth is that Pacquiao, if he doesn’t show up at his durable best, could again land on the floor in a wink.

This was what exactly happened in the third round against Marquez when Pacquiao was floored by what looked like an insignificant right to the forehead.

All told, Pacquiao, more than restoring his original firepower, should work doubly hard to recapture his original toughness.

That incredible third-round incident clearly showed that Pacquiao could no longer take as much as he dishes out against a credentialed opponent.

He must do something to correct this fatal flaw quick.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

All rights reserved