The News broke recently that boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao will return to the ring in November to face off against up and coming Brandon Rios in a match scheduled for Macao, China. Pacquiao went 0-2 in 2012 and is in the new position of needing a win in order to remain relevant on the world stage, and Rios is coming off the first loss of his career and stepping into the biggest fight and biggest payday of his career by far. Look for Pacquiao to be the favorite when the lines start to open for this fight. It will be interesting to see how big the lines will favor Pacquiao and what the two losses in a row do to Pacquiao’s enormous fanbase.
Pacquiao will be under increasing pressure in this one, and that is not a good sign. By taking the fight to China, Pacquiao creates an atmosphere where he is breaking new ground and taking advantage of a lucrative offer to stay on top. But there have been signs of stress between PacMan and his promoter Top Rank, and this is the latest. The fact that few talk about is that Pacquiao is fighting in China because, despite having made millions upon millions of dollars, Pacquiao needs the money.
Rios is a fighter with a solid mental state going into the fight. His recent loss to Mike Alvarado in their second fight of what will most likely be a trilogy shows that Rios is a definitely an engaging offensive fighter. Pacquiao coach Freddie Roach has talked about earning a knock out and needing a win, and they feel Rios is tailor made for that.
Rios will have to navigate a jump in opponent quality, and Rios is going to get hit in the fight. This match will not look like the recent Floyd Mayweather- Robert Guerrero bout, however when the lines come out, Pacquiao will be a big favorite, and that makes Rios an underdog to keep an eye on. If the past two years have taught us something, it is that Pac Man is not “Money”.