Pacquiao vs. Rios: Manny will take a lot of punishment in this fight
By Chris Williams: November 23rd is an important day for Manny Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KO’s) with him fighting for the first time since his brutal 6th round knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez last December.
That is one of the worst knockouts I’ve seen in a while in the sport, and there are big questions about whether Pacquiao will be able to stand up to another big shot like that for his next fight against Brandon Rios (31-1-1, 23 KO’s) at the Cotai Arena, Venetian Resort, Macao, Macao S.A.R., China.
Manny’s promoter Bob Arum is kind of doing him a favor in putting him in with a pumped up lightweight instead of career-long welterweight with the frame for the division. Rios is essentially a lightweight that ate his way out of the division instead of grew his way out. This means that Pacquiao won’t be getting hit as hard as he would if he were to face someone like Keith Thurman.
Rios can still punch hard, but he punches like a lightweight instead of a welterweight, and that could help Manny from getting knocked cold in this fight. However, I think Rios punches hard enough to give Pacquiao plenty of problems if he’s able to hit him enough times with one of his big right uppercuts, left hooks or even his jab. Rios has one of the best jabs in the division and he’s going to give Pacquiao huge problems if he remembers to use it for this fight.
I know a lot of Pacquiao’s fans see Rios as a shorter fighter of Antonio Margarito, but I disagree with that. Rios is a lot better at cutting off the ring than Margarito was, and he’s pretty smart and isn’t someone that Pacquiao will be able to run from.
Pacquiao doesn’t tend to tie up his opponents, so he’s not going to be able to rely on that to keep him out of trouble when the two of them get in close. Rios is the better inside fighter and he’s going to give Pacquiao a lot of problems every time he gets near him.
Whether Pacquiao wins this fight or loses it, I think he’s going to get beaten up by Rios much more so than he was in his fight with Margarito three years ago. Pacquiao is older now and he’s not at the same level as he was in the Margarito fight.
Rios is faster on his feet and more versatile than Margarito. He’s not someone that Pacquiao will be able to hit and move to the outside against because Rios will time him and do exactly what Marquez did in nailing Pacquiao when he comes forward looking to land.
Arum better be more selective in the opponents he puts Pacquiao in after this fight because if he gets knocked out cold again, it’s going to be difficult for Arum to justify the high pay per view prices for boxing fans to see his fights. A loss to Rios will be Pacquiao’s third straight defeat. His other two were to Tim Bradley and Marquez. I’ve never heard of a fighter still being a PPV fighter after they’ve lost three straight fights. I’m sure Arum will still keep keep charging the boxing public to see Pacquiao fight if he gets knocked out by Rios, but I think Arum is going to need to start looking for soft fighters if he wants to prevent Pacquiao’s PPV numbers from plummeting with additional losses.