FOLLOWING back-to-back losses to Timothy Bradley (controversial) and Juan Manuel Marquez (emphatic), Manny Pacquiao’s career was in tatters.
But, with an alleged tax bill that was spiralling out of control, and a desire to prove he was still a major force, he embarked on a comeback.
In November 2013, almost one year after being flattened by Marquez, Pacquiao took on Brandon Rios in Macau. Rios was a decent opponent but made for Manny, who did as he pleased before winning a lopsided decision [above]. If the jury were unconvinced by that showing, they were far more impressed by what followed.
In April 2014, Pacquiao went back for seconds with Bradley and this time there was no doubting who was the better man. Pacquiao turned in his finest performance in years to win a unanimous decision and become the first to (officially) beat the American.
Suddenly there were whispers again about a Floyd Mayweather showdown. And they got louder and louder during the build-up to Pacquiao’s November 2014 thrashing of Chris Algieri.
Pacquiao had won three fights in a row, barely losing a round in the process. Perhaps they were not vintage performances but they illustrated that, yet again, he had learned the lessons from defeat.
Mayweather will be the next to test the resurgence.