Whether you're a fan, a critic, or just the average Joe who enjoys boxing, it's likely that you'll say that Manny Pacquiao has lost his killer instinct. Evidently, the former 8-time world champ's fabled one-punch knockout power has been absent as of late. He can still box, though; Pacquiao can still go 12 rounds with some of the best sluggers, but can he reinvigorate himself and gain back his power?
Whether it is age, priorities, or simply Father Time telling Pacquiao to hang up his gloves, factors like these will always come forward when we talk about "Pacman." Pacquiao is devoted to his religion, a philanthropist, a Senator, a father, and a boxer. These play crucial roles on what he's thinking inside the ring; his attention may not be on target, but he has proven time and again that he still has miles left on his tank.
Sporting News recently sat down with iconic coach Freddie Roach in Glasgow, Scotland where he is training Ivan Baranchyk who is set to face Josh Taylor on Saturday. With Roach having over 50 world-class fighters over his storied career, he still considers each of them as "different."
"You have to take each one as individuals as one two fighters are alike," said Roach, adding that every fighter has different outlooks in life. Among others, fighters differ in religion, issues, characters and killer instincts.
The killer instinct, which prompts the boxer to win with the least damage as possible, is essential for the sport. Roach said that having this "is very important" because of the fact that boxing is a contact sport, and "you're out to hurt your opponent."
This is where Pacquiao's name came into play. Roach still considers Pacman as his "best fighter," but as what he described other boxers who have trained under him, Pacquiao is a different individual.
Roach claimed that he and Pacquiao would "debate" on this fact when he opted to just "beat" his opponent rather than "hurting" them. While he thinks otherwise, both respect each other.
"I respect what he does and he respects what I do," said Roach.
With Pacquiao set to face Keith Thurman on July 20, Roach sees the latter to be a tough opponent. According to him, Thurman is a "big, strong guy," but he dipped in his last two outings. This, however, will have little or no bearing because they'll expect Thurman to come out with guns blazing "because he's fighting one of the best" boxers in Pacquiao.
In addition, Roach has it that Pacquiao's speed will have a major role in the fight, and all he has to do is to let his hands go a little bit more. if this is the case, the boxing world could see Pacquiao in his best performance to date.