Here’s my preview and prediction of the fight between Manny Pacquiao and Brandon Rios.
Filipino boxing icon, Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao, will be back in the ring, after almost a year, to face American Brandon “Bambam” Rios. The fight will be available live on HBO PPV and will be held on November 23, 2013 at the sprawling Cotai Arena, Venetian Resort, in Macao, China – Pacquiao’s first fight outside the United States since defeating Oscar Larios in Araneta Coliseum in Manila, Philippines.
Do you think this fight is a ‘ceremonial passing’ or a comeback fight of a ‘great’ champion?
Pacquiao insisted in every interview he had, that he’s career is ‘not done yet’. And that he’s still young at age 34. But Rios pointed out that ‘everybody gets old’, and he will come out as the new superstar. Pacquiao is seven years older than Rios.
How important this fight to Manny Pacquiao and Brandon Rios?
Pacquiao and Rios are both coming in from losses in their previous fights. Both can’t afford to lose this time. Pacquiao, if he loses, it could mean retirement. For Rios it would mean going back to the long line.
Pacquiao, 54-5-2 (KO 38) will be coming in from back-to-back losses of his career. The first was against Timothy Bradley. Although many considered that Pacquiao was clearly robbed. The second loss was brutal and devastating: Pacquiao visit the mat face-first with a single punch from archrival Juan Manuel Marquez.
Brandon Rios, 31-1-1 (KO 23) will be coming in also from his first career defeat. He lost via decision by Mike Alvarado in their rematch.
I think, in the very first round, Rios will never engage Pacquiao. I’m sure he will not march forward towards Pacquiao like he did in his fights with Alvarado. Why? Because it’s a foolish thing to do against Manny Pacquiao. Ask Ricky Hatton.
Rios’s told that he is not scared of Pacquiao. I agree. But it doesn’t mean to me that he will not respect Pacquiao’s power. It will be cautious early rounds for Rios. And Pacquiao will be raking points from first up to four or five rounds.
We all know what exactly Pacquiao will be doing in those early rounds I mentioned: he will outbox Rios. He will be fighting in the middle of the ring to give more room for maneuvers. Pacquiao will look for more angles before throwing combinations and step-out before Rios can mount counter-shots.
After that cautious four or five rounds, Rios’s will start to engage, and try to brawl. At this pointt, he’ll probably know those punches to avoid coming from Pacquiao. And that probably are the left straights.
Somewhere between rounds six and seven, Rios will have his moment and will steal rounds. It will be in these rounds, that Rios may land the game changer punch. I believed that in these rounds, Rios, will be able to force to close the gap between him and Pacquiao. However it will be in these rounds that Pacquiao will catch him with the punch that he never see coming that will knock him out. Therefore I predict a Pacquiao TKO/KO win somewhere between round seven to nine.
But wait; there are some interesting links and info-graphic that I wanted you to read.
Manny Pacquiao Info-graphics – created by Financeonline.com
Requiem for a Welterweight – an interesting article in a long-form, but worth a read, written by Brin-Jonathan Butler. It was very well presented on BLH website, plus a documentary of Pacquiao’s long-time trainer Freddie Roach at the end of the article.
Inspiring a Country to Fight: How Manny Pacquiao Can Help the Philippines – an article written by Kelsey MacCarson of Bleacher Report with my thoughts on how a Pacquiao fight would inspire a country suffering from the aftermath of super typhoon Yolanda.