Manny Pacquiao Looks To Rios Bout As Philippines Look To Rebuild

In the weeks before Manny Pacquiao’s return bout against Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios, his home land of the Philippines has been rocked by super storm Typhoon Haiyan. With death estimates climbing, Pacquiao, a delegate to the Philippine House of Representatives, continues to train. Fortunately, his training camp has not been disrupted by this natural disaster.

Jake Emen of Yahoo Sports asks the question “Will Typhoon Haiyan Affect Manny Pacquiao for Upcoming Fight Against Brandon Rios?” Emen points out that while his hometown and training ground of General Santos City was far enough south to not be affected by the storm which has already claimed so many lives, it will clearly weigh on the fighter’s mind as his constituents languish in need of the basic essentials of life. Trainer Freddie Roach says that Manny Pacquiao is “in perfect shape” physically, but what effect will the typhoon have on his mental game?

It doesn’t take a cynical man to question the importance of pugilism in the face of such a dire situation. Suddenly, the long-promised super fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. is meaningless by comparison. Or, at least, it should be. Mayweather tweeted his support for the Philippines Saturday afternoon, in the wake of the monster storm. As an aside, maybe the highest paid athlete of 2012 can find a more direct way to help out beyond jotting 10 words and a link, considering his next tweet Monday morning showcased his “black toys,” an EWB Rolls Royce Ghost and Bentley Mulsanne.

Anyway, how big of a distraction will the storm be for Manny Pacquiao? As the Fighting Pride of the Philippines and an elected official, it should be his all-consuming concern right now. How can a boxing match even be on Manny Pacquiao’s radar right now? His knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez came on the heels of Typhoon Bopha in 2012. Was that storm distracting Manny Pacquiao from his duties as a boxer? Is boxing distracting Manny Pacquiao from his duties as a Filipino citizen and official?

How important is Manny Pacquiao’s fight against Brandon Rios? Should Manny seek to postpone the fight? Is Team Pacquiao doing the right thing?