Saturday, Nov. 24, Manny Pacquiao (54-5-2) will face off against Brandon Rios (31-1-1) at the Cotai Arena in Macao, China. The bout will likely be televised on HBO with an adjustment in time due to the time difference between the U.S. and China.
For Pacquaio, the bout is an opportunity for him to regain some of the momentum he had prior to the two consecutive losses he has suffered. With a devastating KO loss to Juan Manuel Marquez in his prior fight, Pacquiao will be looking to capture the confidence he had prior to the loss.
Strategically, Rios should provide Pacquiao with the style necessary to bring out his best attributes. It is no secret that Rios is willing to take a lot of punches in order to give some himself. As a result, Rios will be there for Pacquiao to hit and should provide a test as to where Pacquiao’s confidence lies at this point in his career.
Career wise, a loss to Rios for Pacquiao would be devastating as his stock would plummet even further to the downside leading many to call for his retirement. Therefore, it is imperative that Pacquiao put on an impressive performance if he expects to continue his career and rise, once again, to the top of boxing’s pound for pound rankings.
On the other hand, Rios is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Mike Alvarado (34-1) and will be looking to raise his stock significantly with a victory over Pacquiao. The match up will certainly be the biggest one of his career and it will be interesting to see if Rios will make any adjustments to his fight style.
Promotionally, the fight is being handled by Bob Arum’s Top Rank, which made the encounter rather easy to make due to the fact that both fighters are under the Top Rank banner. Even more, the battle will be taking place in Macao, China which should bring out a sold out crowd with Pacquiao being Asian.
With Top Rank putting a significant investment in building a business within the sport of boxing in China, the idea of putting the fight there was a no brainer. It would not be a surprise to see China’s most prized fighter, Zou Shiming, listed on the undercard of the event in order to draw even more fans in the area.
Underlying all of the fight hype that will go into the promotions, many will point to this fight as revenge for Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach. The revenge stems from Pacquiao’s fight in 2010 against Antonio Margarito, in which, Rios and his trainer Garcia mocked Roach’s Parkinson’s disease and made fun of his shaking due to the disease.
Monetarily, Pacquiao will still make a substantial amount of money as the draw and Rios will be provided with the biggest payday of his career. With all the opportunities that lie within the Chinese economy, a lot of money will be pumped into this event and should provide a boost for the sport of the boxing in the country.
Overall, there are a lot of factors at play in this event in regards to each fighter’s career as well as economically. The move to host such an affair in China shows that Top Rank is serious about building their business within the Chinese market. It should be interesting for all parties involved especially for Pacquiao who seems to be in a “do or die” situation.