Heading into his welterweight bout last December with four-division titlewinner Juan Manuel Marquez, Manny Pacquiao told trainer Freddie Roach “We need a knockout” to defeat a man against whom he had gone 2-0-1 in prior meetings.
But at 2:59 of the sixth and final round of a matchup that had featured knockdowns by each fighter, it was Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 knockouts) who was left face-down and motionless after being knocked cold from walking into a single, sensational counter right hand from Marquez.
The loss was the second straight for Pacquiao, who lost the WBO 147-pound belt to Tim Bradley last June.
“You forget about it and move on,” Pacquiao told The China Daily of the losses to Bradley and Marquez. “It only makes me more hungry. It makes me want to get back to being the best.”
Pacquiao has admitted to “feeling a little pressure for” his return bout on Nov. 24 in Macau (Nov. 23 in the western hemisphere) in Macau, China, against rising junior welterweight Brandon Rios (31-1, 23 KOs), even as he believes that “an impressive victory against Rios will raise my name again in boxing.”
To that end, Pacquiao told The China Daily that he will be, yet again, in search of a knockout against Rios, a former lightweight beltholder.
“Winning this fight won’t be enough — I have to win big,” said Pacquiao. “I want to put on a good show for everybody in China and around the world. To do that, I have to knock him out.”
Pacquiao and Rios are in the midst of a seven-city promotional press tour in advance of their fight.
Manny Pacquiao versus Brandon Rios press tour
(All Times local)
MONDAY, AUGUST 5
TUESDAY, AUGUST 6 at 3:00 P.M. ET
Photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org