Manny Pacquiao vs. Brandon Rios: Is it safe to allow this fight?
By Gerardo Granados: Yesterday a friend of mine, yes that one; asked me about the next fight of Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao. I told him that he will face Brandon Rios next on November 23 in Cotai Arena, Macao, China.
He responded “but, why did Rios lose his last bout?” Well, Manny needs a tune up fight for his comeback and Brandon is tailor made for him to look good in his comeback, even more because he will be fighting in a new potentially immense market. It makes sense as for business but is it safe to allow Rios to face Pacquiao?
When the fight was announced an image came to my mind; it was the bloodied face of David Diaz. Rios could become into a walking punching bag going straight forward to the power punches of Pacman and that can´t be good.
Richard Abril got robbed but he exposed Rios limited defensive skills. In his first fight versus Mike Alvarado, the Bam Bam won but got caught with a lot of clean shots all night long. In their second fight, Alvarado boxed him and it was clear how defensively limited Brandon really is.
It’s true that Pacman was brutally knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez, but Marquez is a future hall of fame member with good defense and great counter puncher skills. Meanwhile, Rios is a strong limited brawler.
Manny is too experienced for Brandon, and he has engaged future hall of fame members meanwhile Rios quality of opposition isn´t impressive at all. To believe that Pacquiao chin might be fragile after his last fight could sound logic but to believe that he has lost his speed, mobility and power is simply absurd.
When Pacquiao fought Antonio Margarito in 2010, I stated in my column that Margarito was the underdog for obvious reasons and some thought that I was wrong. Now I am concern about Rios safety inside the ring.
If someone had stopped the fight “Tony” would probably still be active today, and if no one stops Rios from taking unnecessary punishment. The young brave man could end his boxing career that night if he takes too much punishment from Pacquiao.
Rios is as brave and courageous as you can imagine a warrior can be and it is his heart that could lead him to take too much unnecessary punishment and if he gets hurt no one will be liable for that not even his trainer who let Margarito take an unnecessary beating against Pacman.
How will Rios be able to slip or block the power punches of Manny? At welterweight Miguel Angel Cotto was competitive but ended up beaten up by Pacquiao, and the main reason was the power and speed of Manny. Brandon has a below average defensive skills, he is quite flat footed and doesn´t have the speed to compete against Pacman.
Some might think that Rios has power but let’s not forget that he is a lightweight who in the last year moved up to light welterweight and now will have his first welterweight bout. So for the welterweight division his power might not be as good as it was in the lightweight division.
Protect yourself at all times. But sometimes the fighters need to be protected and it can´t be allowed that what happen to Antonio Margarito repeats again. Pro Boxing is a dangerous and on times cruel business and it is the major organizations duty to protect the prizefighters. Maybe I am crazy to believe that Rios is heading in to a slaughter and the reader could believe this will be a competitive fight but, will it be safe?