It might be over for Manny Pacquiao and fights on American soil, but there’s plenty of money to be made elsewhere. For example, in Macau, well the Filipino legend will stage his next bout, hoping to end his two-fight losing streak, taking on the fast rising, also coming off a defeat, Brandon Rios.
Why Brandon Rios? Well, he hasn’t fought at Welterweight before, and he’s coming off a loss. More important, it’s his style. His two fights with Mike Alvarado were quite enjoyable slugfests, with Rios winning the first one with a 7th round TKO, followed by his first career loss, a very close unanimous decision in the favor of Alvarado.
Pacquaio didn’t let it go to the judges against Marquez. He simply got knocked out in the sixth in what was a surprisingly brawl instead of Pacquiao chasing Marquez around. But it signaled that it’s over for Pacquiao as one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world, if not the best of them. The Mayweather option and other things on the table were eliminated, including fighting in the United States, where taxes weren’t favorable with Top Rank and Manny.
Is it the right choice? Probably, especially financially. The details aren’t in yet, but there will be a PPV despite the time difference, with the fight being staged in the morning at Macau. But Rios isn’t Bradley, who enjoyed his defensive stance and a terrible crew of ringside judges making one of the worst decisions in recent years.
Rios is a different kind of animal. Wild, untamed, and not coached too well. Yes, he has Robert Garcia, maybe the “hottest” trainer in the world today, but it doesn’t make him that much of a coachable boxer. Rios will go all in from the first moment, because that’s who it is. It means we’ll see a quick, enjoyable fight, but the Pacquiao crew is hoping that a less reserved approach against him, weary of facing counter punchers and their kind, will bring him back on the winning track, and who knows where to afterwards.