Brandon Rios could provide the perfect opportunity for Kell Brook to make a name for himself in the USA
MANNY PACQUIAO and Brandon Rios square off on November 23 at the Venetian resort in Macao, China for the vacant WBO International Welterweight title; however, there is a lot more at stake than the title.
Manny Pacquiao, one of the biggest draws in boxing and a celebrated athlete in his home country of the Philippines, returns to the ring after suffering two consecutive losses. The first was an exceptionally controversial split decision to current WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley. The second was a devastating sixth round knockout loss to old foe Juan Manuel Marquez that many believed would be the end of Manny.
Nonetheless, he returns to fight tough Brandon Rios, also coming back from a loss. Rios tasted his first professional defeat at the hands of Mike Alvarado after a highly anticipated second contest; their previous bout was one of fights of 2012 in which Rios stopped Alvarado. The up and coming fight therefore will decide the future of both fighters, a win for either man could put them both right back at the forefront of the world scene and offer compelling match-ups. A loss can still offers interesting fights to pursue.
Pacquaio, one of the greatest fighters of this generation, is undoubtedly nearing the end of his career but, at the age of 34, he could still fight for a few more years. However, after being in great fights with legendary fighters and the huge political responsibilities he has taken on in the Philippines the sport of Boxing requires unprecedented dedication that he may not be able to fulfill for much longer.
Lets examine the path for Pacquiao if he were to win or lose come November 23: A win puts Pacquiao in a strong position; however, we are limited to opposition as the current Top Rank/Golden Boy feud continues. Under the Top Rank Banner he could secure a rematch with Bradley. It would earn him another world title shot and it would enable him to overcome the controversial loss he suffered at Bradley’s hands. The second fight that could have the potential to be a thrilling contest would be Manny Pacquiao against Ruslan Provodnikov. This would entice many fight fans with the styles of both fighters and could ensure for a great night of boxing. The problem, of course, is they're both trained by Freddie Roach.
Another, and seemingly perennial option for Pacquaio win or lose is against old rival Juan Manuel Marquez. Pacquaio will want to avenge that brutal defeat before he calls it a day and it's contest that guaratees big Box Office. With Marquez also coming off a loss (to Bradley) a fifth bout might be a great ending to both careers.
Brandon Rios the resilient fighter who boxes out of Oxnard, California and has proven himself to be one of the toughest fighters on the scene. With his refusal to take a backward step, Rios is rarely in a bad fight. Pacquaio is undoubtedly his biggest test to do date, and a win puts him in the mix for world honours. Again opposition is limited to Top Rank and HBO fighters. The November clash will see Rios move up to welterweight, therefore, a win could also see him challenge Bradley for the WBO title.
Another option for Rios, win or lose, would be to square off against Provodnikov in a mouth watering slugfest that could bag Brandon another world title.
If Rios were to lose against Pacquiao this would be his second straight loss, but he would still have some great options to pursue. Notably a third fight with Mike Alvarado completing their trilogy and another possible fight of the year nomination.
Another option would be to see Rios face off against Kell Brook. Rios would be on two losses, Brook needs to start making a statement in the USA, and this could be the perfect opportunity for him to gain a win over a notable American opponent. It would also offer Rios the potential to rebuild himself again in the wake of another loss.
The bout between Pacquaio and Rios itself should be a great fight; it will see the return of one of the biggest stars in the sport, matched against one of the most exciting fighters. Regardless of the outcome both fighters could still see themselves in exciting future fights with notable opponents, and large paydays.
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