Manny Pacquiao vs. Brandon Rios on November 23rd in Macau, China
By Chris Williams: According to Steve Kim, former 8 division world champion Manny Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KO’s) will be fighting Brandon Rios (31-1-1, 23 KO’s) on November 24th in a Top Rank promoted fight in Macau, China.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum had recently narrowed the choices for Pacquiao’s next fight to Mike Alvarado and Rios after his primary targets – Juan Manuel Marquez and Tim Bradley – had decided to fight each other instead of taking the Pacquiao fight.
With little choice but to put Pacquiao with Rios or Alvarado, Arum selected the slightly more popular Rios, who is coming off of a 12 round unanimous decision loss to Alvarado in his last fight.
The venue of the fight was something that Pacquiao wanted in order to save on tax money for the pay-per-view loot he gets from the American boxing fans on HBO. Having the fight take place outside of the U.S will save Pacquiao a lot of money.
If this fight were to have taken place four years ago when Pacquiao was still in his prime it would be an easy fight for him because Rios is slow, easy to hit and right there in front of his opponents, but with Pacquiao coming off of a 6th round knockout in his last fight against Marquez it’s a potentially a dangerous fight for him.
I can see a scenario where Pacquiao is knocked unconscious with the first hard shot that Rios nails him with because he hits about as hard as Marquez, but without the element of surprise that you get with his shots due to his counter punching.
Rios is just a basic straight up slugger and a primitive one at that. He’s not going to be catching Pacquiao by surprise with any of his shots, but it may not matter. Pacquiao’s chin might not be able to take the shots whether he sees the punches coming or not.
This is kind of a do or die fight for Pacquiao. If he gets knocked out or beaten by decision it’ll be his third straight loss and clear sign that he needs to hang up the old gloves and go off into the safety of politics in the Philippines.
What’s interesting about this fight is it matches two fighters that have won very controversial decisions in their recent past with Pacquiao getting two wins and a draw against Juan Manuel Marquez in fights that many boxing fans felt he should have lost, and Rios getting an even more controversial decision over Richard Abril last year in a fight that you can make an argument that Rios deserved to win only two rounds.