Pacquiao vs Rios: Robert Garcia discusses Pacquiao's physical decline

Feng Li

Robert Garcia will train Brandon Rios for his big November 23 shot at Manny Pacquiao, and the trainer says he's noticed real physical decline in Pacquiao the last few years.

Manny Pacquiao is 34 years old now, and it's only right that as he's aged over a hard career with so many tough fights and training camps behind him, he has started to decline physically. Robert Garcia believes he sees a lot of evidence of Pacquiao not being the fighter he was a few years ago, and is confident that Brandon Rios can win on November 23.

"We're going to prepare for the best Pacquiao, that same one from four years ago, that's the Pacquiao that we are going to prepare for. [But] there are little things that I've been noticing in his last two or three fights... he does not have the same strength and his legs are suffering from cramps, [possibly the affects of] age, punishment in the gym. There are things that nobody can hide. It happen to athletes, boxers and there is nothing you can do."

Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KO) has definitely seen better days, but he also looked quite sharp last year against Juan Manuel Marquez, before he was knocked out on a perfect right hand in one of the most memorable moments in recent boxing memory.

But has he declined enough that Rios (31-1-1, 23 KO) and his straightforward, all-action style will be enough to beat Manny? Pacquiao was able to largely dominate a bigger Antonio Margarito in 2010, with Garcia in the corner. The Margarito and Rios styles are similar, but Garcia says that he learned a lot himself in that fight. He's certainly familiar with Manny and there's no shortage of tape on him from his recent fights.

Is Manny at the point where Rios is a significant danger, or is this a well-chosen opponent for Pacquiao to stage a comeback?

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