Manny demoted in P4P list
By Joaquin Henson Updated Tuesday June 12, 2012 - 12:00am

LAS VEGAS – It didn’t take long for fight website <> to demote Manny Pacquiao in an updated version of the world’s pound-for-pound ratings. After losing a disputed split decision to Timothy Bradley Jr. here Saturday night, Pacquiao was dropped to No. 5 in the ladder behind No. 1 Floyd Mayweather Jr., No. 2 Wladimir Klitschko, No. 3 Bradley and No. 4 Vitali Klitschko. Right behind Pacquiao in the listing is No. 6 Juan Manuel Marquez.

Obviously, Pacquiao wasn’t given the benefit of the doubt despite the close decision which wasn’t borne out by punchstats showing a clear advantage over Bradley in punches landed and accuracy measures.

In The Ring Magazine, Pacquiao lost his No. 1 standing after an unconvincing victory over Marquez last November and shared the No. 2 spot with Mayweather who was cited for his win on points over Miguel Cotto. The Ring decided to leave the No. 1 slot vacant because neither Pacquiao nor Mayweather could claim supremacy over the other. With Pacquiao’s loss, The Ring may elevate Mayweather to No. 1 even as he is serving time in jail for domestic violence.

While the stats showed that Pacquiao did more than enough to outpoint Bradley, the fact that he failed to score a knockout has raised questions on his ability to perform at a high level with age catching up. Pacquiao is 33 and has logged 60 fights compared to Bradley’s 29.

Against Bradley, Pacquiao lost steam in the late going but insisted it was because Bradley preferred to run away and avoid a direct confrontation. Two judges, C. J. Ross and Duane Ford, awarded five of the last six rounds to Bradley.

Pacquiao has often said he will listen to trainer Freddie Roach as to when to hang up his gloves. If he begins to display signs of slippage and is no longer able to compete at the top level, Pacquiao said he won’t hesitate to retire from the ring. Pacquiao has not scored a knockout in his last five fights dating back to 2010. And in the Bradley fight, he scaled 147 pounds – the heaviest in his career.

Down the stretch of the Bradley fight, Pacquiao wasn’t as aggressive. His workrate dropped and he couldn’t cut the ring off on Bradley. He couldn’t put his punches together. It seemed like he couldn’t carry the extra bulk in his body.

The stats reveal that in Pacquiao’s fights against Sugar Shane Mosley and Marquez last year, he averaged 26 power punches a round. In the five fights before, his norm was 52 power punches with a 50 percent connect rate. In the Bradley bout, Pacquiao averaged only 16 power punches a round with an overall connect rate of 39 percent.

Pacquiao said the way he feels, the time to retire hasn’t come. “I still think I’m 26,” he said. “I’ve had some problems with my calves but I’m taking more potassium now. More bananas.” Roach said he’s carefully tracking Pacquiao’s evolution as a fighter getting on in years.

“It’s part of life you slow down when you get a bit older but I’m watching for it in his foot drills and agility work and I’m not seeing it,” said Roach. “He blocks punches clean. There’s no slowness or rigidity, none at all. He wasn’t 100 percent focused on Marquez – distractions. Now, we have none of that.”

Hall of Fame trainer Emanuel Steward said Pacquiao’s not the same as before. “I see a slow slippage in his delivery,” said Steward whose Kronk stable in Detroit spawned the likes of Tommy Hearns, Jimmy Paul and Milton McCrory. “The animal-like intensity is slightly less than it was. That’s the legs. That’s what I always look at.  It might not be there to the untrained eye. I’m looking at Manny going through some emotional things. I think it’s taking up his spiritual and mental energy. Something gets sapped from that.”

It’s incumbent on Pacquiao to disprove the sceptics and critics. If he still has what it takes to overwhelm opponents like Bradley and Floyd Mayweather Jr., Roach will definitely advise to postpone retirement to take care of unfinished business.

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