Pacquiao vs Rios Potentially on the Horizon


Photo: Chris Farina Top Rank

By: John Riley

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For Manny Pacquiao fans it’s hard to look past the December 8 bout with Juan Manuel Marquez.  Besides the ever elusive Mayweather (no pun intended 🙂 ) match up for Pacquiao, what other opponents are there that will give us an exciting fight to watch? That possible opponent made everyone take notice with his sensational KO win last saturday against Mike Alvarado. Yes, that would be Brandon Rios.
The brash, trash talking banger out of Robert Garcia’s gym may be given the opportunity to take on Pacquiao.  On the possibility of a Pacquiao-Rios match-up, Promoter Bob Arum says, “the public will go crazy for that fight.”So what makes Rios a good choice?  His aggressive style and willingness to exchange.  He’s got a chin and wants to bang.  Fans of Manny don’t want to see another Clottey or Bradley type opponent, too defensive and not enough action.  Instead they want a fight that reminds them of the early fights, the brawls and KOs with Morales, Barrera, Hatton, etc. Filipinos fans in particular, want to see the fighting spirit of past clashes.  That is the legend of Manny Pacquiao.  Even an older Marquez has learned not to stay in Manny’s wheelhouse or risk getting dropped.  Therein lies the dilemma of matchmaking for the Filipino star.  Who is hungry enough, brave enough, skilled enough and not worried about their legacy to take a lost (ahem, you paying attention Floyd)?

In Brandon Rios you have a young lion ready to take on anyone.  Unafraid of moving up in weight he believes he’ll have no problem being effective moving up 147 to face the winner of Pacquiao-Marquez as his remarks to Max Kellerman recently indicate.

“You see what happened to Mike Alvarado?  I think I can do the same to them too.”

Having recently signed only a one year contract with Arum’s TopRank, Pacquiao may be planning retirement soon.  Pacquiao fans are craving quality fights to cement the legacy and want someone to step up.

Before the instant classic that is the Rios-Alvarado bout, Rios gives you a glimpse of his heart and mettle: “I love hitting people in the face and I love getting hit.” – Brandon Rios. Well, Mr. Rios, we’re sure Manny Pacquiao is more than happy to oblige.

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