The encore broadcast of the November 21 episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live! with eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao will be shown tonight at midnight ET/PT on ABC, eight days before the Filipino star's fourth meeting with Juan Manuel Marquez on December 8 from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on HBO pay-per-view.
Since the initial airing last week, the seventh appearance by Pacquiao on the program, the segment has gotten some buzz. This is largely due to the spoof of HBO’s all-access reality series 24/7 entitled "Pacquiao-Rodriguez 4 24/7", featuring Kimmel's overweight sidekick Guillermo Rodriguez as the intended long-time opponent for Pacquiao. Appearances by Pacquiao, Marquez, Freddie Roach, Bob Arum and Bernardo Osuna from ESPN Deportes were included to bring a touch of comical reality to the faux documentary.
It is particularly nice to see Marquez joining in the fun given his rather bitter reaction to the outcome of the first three fights with Pacquiao, calling himself the "understudy" for Rodriguez who jokingly missed the previous three fights due to overeating, taking dogs to the doctor and oversleeping when drunk.
During the interview, Kimmel chided Pacquiao by asking if he returned to drinking, gambling and cockfighting after his controversial loss to Timothy Bradley to which the good-natured fighter laughed and said 'no'. In a subsequent article by Nigel Collins for ESPN.com earlier this week, it is suggested that the Filipino star's reformation may have caused him to lose his ferocity and negatively impact his fighting style. It has been three years since we last saw a menacing Pacquiao in victory with a twelfth round stoppage over Miguel Cotto in November 2009. His next five fights went the distance, yet Pacquiao put a beating on Antonio Margarito in November 2010 and had to contend with a retreating Shane Mosley who appeared to be unwilling to fight after getting knocked down in the third round of their May 2011 bout.
The decline in ferocity could be due to Pacquiao's personal transformation, his loss of passion for the sport or his political and business distractions. It could also simply be an issue of age or wear and tear from his past battles. He appears more determined and focused heading into this fight, reportedly dropping a second sparring partner on Tuesday. Pacquiao has previously indicated that he needs a knockout against Marquez to dispel the doubts of fans and finally get a definitive victory, telling Kimmel that he is training to be more aggressive and action-oriented.
Since this is something the notoriously superstitious Pacquiao has been unable to achieve even when at his peak, he might have been wise to take up Kimmel's advice and sing on the show as he had done the first five times he appeared as a guest. As Kimmel pointed out, Pacquiao suffered his first loss in seven years after not singing on his last guest appearance prior to the Bradley fight.
We were spared the musical interlude for the second consecutive show, with Pacquiao only looking to belt out a tune with his fists next Saturday night in what should be the swan song of the Pacquiao-Marquez rivalry.
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