By NICK GIONGCO
MACAU – Manny Pacquiao remains running at break-neck speed but he is no longer operating at full throttle.
Robert Garcia, who trains Brandon Rios, the brash Mexican- American puncher Pacquiao will deal with Sunday said he has seen many reasons why his fighter is going to emerge victorious in their scheduled 12-round welterweight match at the CotaiArena.
“Four years ago, he was a hundred and twenty percent. But now he’s about 100 percent,” said Garcia, noting that Pacquiao has declined through the years and Rios has solid chances of pulling off what Juan Manuel Marquez did last year.
Even with all the weaknesses Pacquiao has shown through the years, Garcia is still concerned although not as awed as before.
“He is towards the end of a great career but Manny is so good that he remains to be a dangerous fighter even if he is starting to fade away, little by little, his legs are cramping up and I am not making it up. These are some of the little things that we have to take advantage.”
And because Pacquiao has started to show many kinks, Garcia is doubtful whether Pacquiao, who is nearing 35, can endure going 12 full rounds.
“He may be too fast but can he do the same thing for 12 rounds while Brandon is getting stronger and stronger? Does he have the power, the legs to go 12 rounds?”
Rios is a noted slow-starter and Pacquiao plans to pounce on this trait but Rios has the power to replay what Marquez did, insisted Garcia.
“Brandon has got the power to do it in the last round or early in the fight. If he catches Manny with a good punch the way Marquez did, it could be over. I’m not saying that that’s gonna happen or it will be easy to do that, but it could.”