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Pacquiao vs. Brandon Rios targeted for April 20th

Brandon Rios Manny PacquiaoBy Chris Williams: Manny Pacquiao is already being steered for a fight against unbeaten former WBA World lightweight champion Brandon Rios (31-0-1, 23 KO’s) on April 20th next year. Bob Arum, Pacquiao and Rios’ promoter, wants that fight next after Pacquiao’s fight against Juan Manuel Marquez on Saturday and that’s what boxing will be seeing.

Of course, a loss for Pacquiao on Saturday could change Arum’s plans of a Pacquiao-Rios fight, because Pacquiao would almost have to fight Marquez for a 5th time because this wouldn’t be a loss where we’d see Pacquiao not face Marquez again for three years like we saw after Pacquiao beat Marquez by a questionable 12 round decision in 2008.

Arum would would likely push for a rematch between Pacquiao and Marquez if his fighter loses on Saturday because that would be two losses in a row for Pacquiao. He already opted not to avenge his defeat against Tim Bradley, but I don’t think he can do that with Marquez because the boxing public will likely see it as fear if he doesn’t try to fight Marquez again.

As for the Rios fight, it’s predictable. Rios fights for Top Rank, and Arum likes to make in house fights among his Top Rank stable. We’ve already see Pacquiao fight Arum’s stable fighters Miguel Cotto, Joshua Clottey, Shane Mosley and Tim Bradley. Rios is one of the few remaining guys that Pacquiao hasn’t fought in the stable yet.

Arum likely sees the money that can be made in a Rios vs. Pacquiao fight because of the large Mexican community that would rally behind Rios despite the fact that he doesn’t have a large fan base at this time. Rios would still get a lot of Mexican fans behind him and willing to purchase the fight on pay per view. Judging by how Rios has looked against Mike Alvarado and Richard Abril, I don’t see him being able to beat Pacquiao. I think he’d make it tough on him due to his youth and Pacquiao’s advancing age, but I don’t see Rios winning.

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