It’s official, on November 23rd Manny Pacquiao will take on the hard hitting Brandon “Bam Bam” RIos at The Venetian in Macau, China with hopes of snapping his two-fight losing streak.
What to look for:
1. At first glance this fight sure looks like it’s going to resemble the November 2010 Pacquiao/Margarito bout where we witnessed Manny Pacquiao batter the bigger, but considerably slower opponent for 12 rounds en route to a unanimous decision. If you look closely though, this might not be such a mismatch after all. Brandon will only be stronger at the welterweight limit of 147 lbs. and despite losing his last bout 115-113, 115-113 and 114-113 on the scorecards against the strong Mike Alvarado, put on a good show. Manny Pacquiao, on the other hand, was knocked out cold at the end of the sixth round in his last bout against Juan Manuel Marquez in December. Though Pacquiao had success during the fight and even knocked Marquez down, the violent nature of the knockout loss has cast doubt on whether he’ll be able to take Rios’ strongest punches. Rios is no Marquez, however, and Pacquiao will look to land quick, strong flurries and use superior footwork to nullify the bum-rushing Rios from landing anything significant.
2. Aside from the questions about his chin, Manny Pacquiao will be fighting after what will be the longest layoff of his career. His longest layoff was eight months in 2010 when he fought Joshua Clottey in March and then Antonio Margarito in November. After nearly a year off, will the extra rest help him look like vintage Pacquiao or will it show in the form of ring rust?
3. It was recently reported by Dan Rafael of ESPN that “May Day” did not do as well as expected. Rafael tweeted “No official PPV #’s yet for Floyd but 2 industry sources tell me they look bad (under 1M). We’ll see. If true, heavy $$ losses for Showtime.” In light of this report, it’ll be interesting to see what kind of numbers the Pacquiao/Rios fight will generate. During their highly publicized negotiations, Mayweather insisted that he get the higher purse if a fight against Pacquiao were materialized because, as he said, he is the biggest draw in boxing. If Pacquiao/Rios does generate more money than Mayweather/Guerrero, perhaps it will spark some more fire in the Top Rank/HBO – Golden Boy/Showtime feud.