By Leo Reyes, Sports Editor|
At least three more major fights await Manny Pacquiao in the next two years if he wins impressively against Brandon Rios on Nov. 23 at the Venetian Resorts and Casino in Macau, China.
Pacquiao is coming off two successive defeats against Palm Spring star Timothy Bradley and Mexican counter-puncher Juan Manuel Marquez.
Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley fought to a highly controversial split decision in June 2012 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas Nevada. Two judges ruled in favor of the unbeaten Bradley, while the third judge scored the fight in favor of Pacquiao.
The controversial decision drew widespread protests from boxing fans around the world, which prompted Bob Arum (whose Top Rank Promotions outfit handles both Pacquiao and Bradley) to request the office of the Attorney General of Nevada to investigate the controversial decision. Read more.
Post-fight statistics showed Pacquiao winning in both jabs and power punches scoreboards as shown in Compubox round-by-round fight tallies.
In December 2012, Pacquiao accepted Marquez’ challenge to face him for a fourth time to settle their long running feud over Marquez’ claim that he was robbed of his victories in all their previous fights.
Pacquiao was winning on points until the last seconds of the sixth round when Marquez caught the Filipino star with a power right punch to the jaw that sent him to the canvas face down, giving Marquez the KO win.
On Nov. 23, Pacquiao will return to the ring after almost a year of inactivity. Critics are saying Pacquiao will prevail over Rios, a Mexican-American who lost only once in his professional career. Rios is the former WBA lightweight champion and ranked No.6 in Ring’s pound-for-pound ranking.
Pacquiao’s coach Freddie Roach, who admits he wants to teach Brandon Rios and his trainer, Robert Garcia a lesson, said Rios fighting style suits Pacquiao.
“Manny is definitely going to get his mojo back with this fight,” Roach told ESPN.com. “Brandon Rios likes to fight in the pocket and exchange, and Manny is very good in the pocket, too.”
“I think it’ll be an exciting fight but that Manny is going to land in the pocket at some point and knock this guy out somewhere along the way. Rios likes to exchange and his style is not really difficult to figure out, so Manny’s gonna hit him.” he added.
For his part, Rios said of his upcoming fight with Pacquiao that once he smells blood, he will go for the kill.
“Marquez kicked his ass… and I’m going for the kill baby,” Rios told EsNews during Marcos Maidana’s stoppage win against Josesito Lopez.
A win by Pacquiao against Rios will most likely put him in collision with the winner of the Marquez-Bradley fight and then hope that Mayweather finally agrees to face him later next year.