Manny Pacquiao vs. Brandon Rios

By Robert Ecksel on May 6, 2013
Manny Pacquiao vs. Brandon Rios
If Pacquiao can take Bam Bam's punch, he'll be back in the saddle again. (Gibonzo)

Every cloud has a silver lining. The good thing about the uncivil war between Top Rank and Golden Boy is that while steadfastly refusing to do business with each other, they are both trying to top (if not topple) their worthy opposition.

No sooner have the effusions following Mayweather-Guerrero subsided, than Top Rank has announced that Manny Pacquiao’s next fight will be on Nov. 23 at The Venetian in Macau, China, against none other than Brandon Rios.

Pacquiao has been counted out, not only by Kenny Bayless on Dec. 8 when he fought Juan Manuel Marquez in his last fight, but by scores of writers and fight fans. Some blamed Jesus, a Roman Empire specialty, for causing Manny to lose focus. Others blamed the distractions that go hand-in-hand with political ambition. Few, however, gave credit where credit is due, which goes to the aptly nicknamed Dinamita.

But Manny Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KOs), who presumably lost his last two fights, if one is willing to concede that Timothy Bradley defeated him, has a chance to redeem himself, against an opponent who is truly worthy of the name.

Rios (31-1-1, 23 KOs) is about as fan-friendly as a fighter can be. He’s the quintessential do-or-die pugilist, a veritable kamikaze in the square ring. He’s a come-forward fighter, a dyed-in-the-wool brawler, which plays to Pacquiao’s strengths.

It’s easy to say that this is a must-win fight for Pacquiao, but he remains hugely popular, despite his recent setbacks, perhaps even more so in Asia than in the U.S. If Manny can take Bam Bam’s punch, and it won’t take long before we find out, he’ll be back in the saddle again.

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  1. Leigh 11:19am, 05/14/2013

    I think PAC turns back the clock a couple of fights against Rios using great footwork,  fast combos and not hanging around in the pocket too long. He could stop Rios late or clear points victory, he then looks to Floyd or looks to retire.

  2. galvar 07:14pm, 05/09/2013

    Marquez would be stupid to take another fight with Pac.  Yes he won (lucky shot and yes it’s lucky when you hit someone with your eyes closed, sorry you can’t convince me otherwise) but he was also getting lit up till then.  If he lost to Pac (again) it would take away from the KO win.  I think a 5th fight with Pac would be a bad mistake for him.

  3. Michael Hegan 03:42pm, 05/09/2013

    Bradley vs Marquez…..
    We’ll know if Bradley has lost a step….or

    ...responding to the critics, after he beat Pacquaio
    Bradley tried to change his style when he took the match with
    Prov…and deliberately tried to stand and trade with the guy…instead of doing what he does so well…...HIT AND NOT GET HIT…

    I’d say ....seeing that Bradley was counting daffodils for about three weeks after his match with Prov…...he’ll go back to what got him there.
    ......or…it is true….he’s lost a step.
    Marquez is no cream puff

  4. Bodyshots 12:54pm, 05/08/2013

    Pacquiao* is vulnerable to uppercuts and right-hands. both of which are Rios specialties. also, Pacquiao* is not notorious for denting formidable chins above lightweight. besides, i’ve wanted this matchup to happen as soon as Brandon moved up to 140lbs. i favor Rios to TKO Pacquiao* within 12 and particularly if it’s a slugfest during which Pacquiao* will get flashbacks of being FLATTENED by Marquez. Pacquiao* only great v. handpicked and/or compromised fighters with Arum’s approved scoring panel as his Plan B. Marquez improved on Morales’ winning blueprint by simply taking it out of the judges hands, which i’m confident that Rios can and will have to do over 12 rounds. not even a Moralesque performance will earn him the scorecard nod in what will essentially be “Manny* Country”. Btw, Pacquiao* is apparently not as determined to redeem his KO loss to Marquez or else he wouldn’t have priced himself out of 5th matchup while also insisting on choosing the location. $13 million is paltry considering that Pacquiao* made $25 mill to Marquez’s $3 mill in the fateful 4th bout, which did answer all questions and remove all doubts with the “desired result” that Marquez delivered. the rivalry is OVER. Marquez is Greater and a win over Bradley will provide an exclamation point to that statement.

  5. Ted 11:43am, 05/08/2013

    If he has anything left in the tank at all he’ll slaughter Rios; if not, he’ll lose. C’est la vie.

    “Pacquiao was the best and undoubtedly the most exciting boxer in the world for a few years. He’s past it.

    “Whether he loses to 100 Brandon Rioses won’t take away from how amazing he was, how he used people like Barrera and Morales like a punching bag, the fact that Mayweather dodged him like the Black Plague or the fact that he was probably, for a brief period, the best boxer of this generation.”


  6. Michael Hegan 06:54pm, 05/07/2013

    why does Bradley have to wait for a rematch with Pacquiao…???

    I know not all of you agree with the decision….sort of like a lot of people didn’t agree with that Leonard Hagler decision…...

    But Leonard never gave Hagler a rematch (not a new strategy)...

    HOWEVER…BRADLEY WOULD>.....WILL ...AND WANTS TO GIVE Pacquiao a rematch…
    Since then…Pacquiao got knocked flatter than a 2010 season mackerel….by Marquez…and now he’s signed to fight ...????who’s that guy ??

    Pacquiao and pbf didn’t happen due to greed and lack of confidence on pbf’s side…..
    Pacquiao and Bradley rematch didn’t happen because ??????

  7. Ted 05:14pm, 05/07/2013

    Bradley will not beat JMM IMO. In fact, he risks his health if he fight shim. If Prov could rock him, imagine what the Mexecutioner could do?

  8. raxman 05:03pm, 05/07/2013

    the other thing that screams arum sending rios to the wolves is the fact that rios comes off a decisive beating at the hands of Alvarado. that performance certainly doesn’t merit a shot at pac.

  9. raxman 03:45pm, 05/07/2013

    matt mosley - I think if Bradley beats jmm, (and taking for granted pac beats rios)  pac must rematch Bradley. Bradley would take the fight. it wasn’t his fault the judges scored the fight as they did - in fact if either fighter is to blame it was pac for assuming he could get 10-9 rounds by fighting only 2minutes. Roach said at the time the rematch was pointless coz as far as they were concerned pac won. but that’s bull. pac needs to rectify this, especially if Bradley’s work rate gets the better of jmm. if that happens all that will matter is what history will show - that Bradley has a win over pac and a win over the guy who ko’d pac.

  10. Matt Mosley 10:28am, 05/07/2013

    Early odds over here in the UK have Rios as a 3-1 underdog.
    Sounds about right to me, Manny the clear favourite but Rios a fairly live ‘dog.

  11. Ted 10:00am, 05/07/2013

    Matt has the beat

  12. Matt Mosley 09:21am, 05/07/2013

    Of course the evil Arum is in a can’t lose situation here, as is often the case.
    Manny wins and he’s back on track, but if he is being thrown in too hard here for his first fight back after such a devastating KO, Arum knows that Rios can take over some of Manny’s popularity with a win and become his new cash cow.

  13. Matt Mosley 09:16am, 05/07/2013

    raxman - I agree. Rios is a good fighter, but that come forward brawling style plays right into Manny’s hands. it will be a good fight while it lasts though i think. Plus, we don’t know for sure if Manny’s punch resistance is waning.
    As far as what is mentioned in the article, i will NEVER concede that Manny lost to Bradley.
    I wish people would stop even mentioning it as even a possible win for Bradley when everyone knows it was nothing of the kind.
    On top of this fight and Marquez-Bradley, TR might as well make Alvarado-Provodnikov to make the round robin, imo.

  14. Don from Prov 08:38am, 05/07/2013

    “Rios needs to slow down a bit and this isn’t slowing down.”
    I didn’t formerly see things this way, but I do now: For one thing, Brandon Rios could use more consistent conditioning.  Anyway, Rios loses now and he just might find himself sitting in the water with few options about where to go.

  15. Mike Casey 04:50am, 05/07/2013

    Rios needs to slow down a bit and this isn’t slowing down.

  16. Pete The Sneak 04:31am, 05/07/2013

    Hmm..definitely will be an action packed affair. While I do agree that Rios come forward style is just what the doctor ordered for Pac, I’m curious to see if Pac has gotten a bit gun shy after the near beheading by Marquez. Always interesting to see how certain fighters adjust after being concussed in such a maner for the first time and their reactions upon being touched again, And believe me, Bam Bam can touch him. All in all, it’s a fight I will definitely be looking forward to. Peace.

  17. raxman 08:24pm, 05/06/2013

    Rios is tailor made for pac. it’ll just be like his fights with barrera, david diaz and possibly even hatton. pac eats come fwd fighters for breakfast. its the back foot fighting counter punchers that he struggles against. hence the lack of them on his resume

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