Keeping an eye on superstar fighter Manny Pacquiao going through the motions of another training camp in the Philippines, you can definitely see a positivity in the former pound for pound king that has been absent in recent fights.
As bookmakers crunching the odds for the Online betting at TopBet.eu Sportsbook make Pacquiao the favourite, it’s now up to the eight-weight champion to prove he is back to his best following a year of uncertainty.
The old sparkle does seem to be present though as the ‘Pacman’ finishes off the last minute formalities of his preparations as he hits Macau today for what is a do or dare clash with the dangerous Brandon Rios.
Even at 35 years of age Pacquiao still looks young, and doesn’t perceive to be bearing any scars of the combat that has gone before him. In fact, you could say he is a new animal on viewing his movements as he puts in the hard work for his latest challenge.
Pacquaio’s trademark blistering speed hasn’t waned and the punch power is as present as ever – having seen snippets of his regimes and heard updates from the many followers of his day-to-day movements.
You can tell the Juan Manuel Marquez knockout remains implanted in his mind as the whole of boxing waits to see if he can put it behind him, although Pacquiao is hiding it well if he does feel any undue extra pressure with just a week to go until fight time.
Pacquiao faces a younger, possibly hungrier fighter in Rios, who too is coming into the fight on the back of a loss, giving another dimension to what is the biggest sporting event in China since the Olympics in 2008.
Promises of a stoppage have been filling the air from Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach in the build-up as well as talk of a future clash with Floyd Mayweather and a fifth fight with Marquez.
The Filipino has been much more subdued in his own personal thoughts on the Cotai Arena contest though and may feel he has something more to prove to the long list of doubters.
It could also be that Pacquiao is anxious to get Rios out of the way before making any bold statements, or his quieter-than-usual nature may well be an ominous sign for his upcoming opponent.
On the whole, the signs in the build-up look good for anyone worried about Pacquiao’s mental and physical state, with a return to form on the cards for the Congressman and those Mayweather rumours could well return at full pelt come November 24.
Pacquiao v Rios is live on BoxNation this coming Saturday night. To subscribe click BoxNation.