On November 23rd, Manny Pacquiao, 54-5-2, 38 KO’s, returns to the ring against Brandon Rios, 31-1-1, 23 KO’s, in a high stakes matchup in China. Pacquiao was once the top opponent for the pound for pound king, Floyd Mayweather, JR., but after back to back losses, he has fallen off of the radar. The fight with Rios may be his ticket back into contention.
Pacquiao had a long run as a pay per view entity, cutting through the opposition with ease. When it came to boxing betting on major sportsbooks, Pacquiao was a very safe bet as he beat respected opposition like Antonio Margarito, Juan Manuel Marquez, Miguel Cotto and Ricky Hatton. The path of destruction ended with a disastrous 2012 with losses to Timothy Bradley (SD-12) and a knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez (KO-6). The Rios fight is a must win.
Rios is coming off a loss as well. After knocking out Mike Alvarado in a fight of the year sort of fight on HBO, the two would rematch and Alvarado would employ different tactics, avenging the defeat. Rios is a straight-forward brawler that will be a truth machine for Pacquiao. If he is shot, he will be stopped and knocked out of the sport once and for all.
Pacquaio, should he win, could end his career with a big money showdown with Floyd Mayweather, JR. The two fighters sat on top of the sport for years but could never agree to terms when it came to making the fight. Now that Manny is in this position, he will probably be more eager to bend to what Floyd wants to happen.
If Rios wins, it will open up more opportunities as well. He could possibly get a shot at the undefeated Timothy Bradley. It will all be decided in China on the 23rd on pay per view. It could be the end of the long road for Pacquiao.