Many insiders expected the 34-year-old Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KOs) to throw fists with Juan Manuel Marquez for a fifth time this autumn.
However, the 39-year-old Marquez (55-6-1, 40 KOs), who knocked Pacquiao onto Queer Street in December, decided to challenge Timothy Bradley for the WBO welterweight belt on September 14.
Hence, the Filipino icon was left to face the 26-year-old Rios (31-1-1, 23 KOs).
A former lightweight titlist, Rios suffered a unanimous decision loss to Mike Alvarado in their March rematch.
“People want to see a real fight, and that is what you get with Rios. We’re building a business in Macau and China and these are the kinds of fights — real action fights — that they want to see. I think it’s a good match. People who watch boxing have differing views of the sport. Some like to see an artistic performance like Floyd Mayweather gave [against Robert Guerrero on Saturday night] and other people like to see two guys knocking the s— out of each other. Me, I love a match when the guys go after each other and throw bombs. That’s my preference. It doesn’t mean it’s the right preference, but this is one of those kinds of fights.”
“Manny is definitely going to get his mojo back with this fight,” said Roach, 53, who was voted Trainer of the Year on four occasions by the BWAA.
“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.”
A faded boxing legend who a neurologist recently claimed is exhibiting initial signs of Parkinson’s disease, Pacquiao shouldn’t again enter the squared circle.
Regardless, “people want to see a real fight” and Pacquiao and Rios will provide that.
Battling in Asia in front of thousands of passionate supporters, Pacquiao will eventually crack “the s— out of” the inferior Rios.
After finishing Brandon Rios within 11 rounds, Manny Pacquiao needs to retire from prizefighting.by