When I watched Manny Pacquiao throttle Timothy Bradley for the second time a few weeks ago, I noticed a few subtle changes in his attack. I've been asked about 20 times by fans if I thought that Manny Pacquiao had lost a step. The answer to that question is YES.
The Manny Pacquiao that I saw beating on Timothy Bradley was not the beast from the East that I remember say 7 or 8 years ago. That said, even an older Manny is still a very dangerous Manny. Father time sooner or later gets every fighter. Manny is not a 20 year old fighter anymore. He's in his mid 30's and heading towards 40 in no time.
The fact that Pacquiao has faded a little bit doesn't mean that he's easy prey for other fighters. The current Pacquiao as we all saw a few weeks ago can still box the socks off of just about anyone put in front of him. In fact, it's actually very impressive how Pacquiao has rebounded from that brutal knockout that he took against Juan Manuel Marquez. The fact that he's been able to bounce back and fight impressively speaks volumes.
Recently there's been some buzz about Bob Arum and Oscar de la Hoya. Allegedly the two have spoken about a possible Canelo Vs. Pacquiao fight. I think this is the best fight for Manny, other than of course a bout Vs. Mayweather. Manny's stock is solid, and Canelo's isn't too shabby either. This fight would draw well, especially if it were held in Mexico. Pacquiao Vs.Mayweather is still just a dream that probably won't happen, so until he retires, Manny will have to fight other names. Canelo would be an interesting fight.
Check out more boxing news on Manny Pacquiao HERE
So what's different about Manny's fight game these days? Well the first thing that I noticed is his movement. Although it's still good, it's not quite as sharp as it was in years past. The first thing to go is a fighter's legs. Manny's legs aren't shot by any stretch, but they have faded just a touch. He doesn't move quite as fast as he used to. I also noticed a slight decrease in punching power. He's not hitting quite as hard as in years past. Does this mean he's dipped from elite fighter to average fighter? Hell no. Even a slightly faded Pacquiao is better than 99 percent of other prime fighters. Manny is THAT good.
Pacquiao in my opinion has 3 to 4 fights left in his career. Time will tell weather or not the last one will be Vs. Mayweather, but at this point? Who cares? I just want him to go out on top, and to go out healthy.
Follow me on Twitter @bradcooney1