Brandon Rios Could Upset the Odds and End Manny Pacquiao’s Career
This coming Saturday in Macau, the unremitting Manny Pacquiao (1.20 with Intertops Sportsbook) will line up against Brandon Rios (4.30) for the vacant WBO International Welterweight Title.
The announcement of the fight was somewhat surprising to many seeing as Pacquiao is well established as one of the top Welterweight fighters of the last decade, whilst Rios is unfamiliar to this weight and hasn’t fought anyone of the same calibre as Pacquiao, but nonetheless it promises to be a thrilling encounter.
Pacquiao comes into the bout after losing an epic clash against Juan Manuel Marquez, giving a resolute account of himself but ultimately coming undone in the face of Marquez’s excellent counter-punching. Marquez scored the knockout in round 6, and Rios is 41.0 with AllYouBet.ag to win in six himself.
Before that fight Pacquiao had suffered a controversial defeat to Timothy Bradley, ending a run of 15 straight victories. The Filipino fighter will have a point to prove against Rios, who himself suffered his first defeat at the hands of Mike Alvarado in March.
The alluring beauty of boxing is of course that a split-second strike can turn the fight onto its head, but even so Pacquiao has to be the unequivocal favourite for this bout.
This is a fantastic chance for Rios to prove himself at a high-grade and will certainly look to use his slugger style to cause an upset.
Pacquiao, the smaller of the two men, is a relentless attacker but Rios has a habit of happily taking a punch in order to allow himself to land a couple in retaliation, but this could play into Pacquiao’s hands. Pacquiao will thrive on Rios’ usual style, seeing it as an invitation for a knockout
If he wants to avoid defeat, Rios would be well advised to adjust his style accordingly and try to box a little more intelligently than he has to against his usual calibre of opposition.
For Pacquiao, another loss here could well be the end of his career. With a mouthwatering fight with Mayweather looking more and more unlikely, he’ll need to produce here to show he is still to be venerated by the other world-class Welterweights.
Rios really has an opportunity to win another world title after losing his WBA Lightweight Title to John Murray two years ago. Pacquiao will be a huge favourite – and rightly so – but he is at an unpredictable stage of his career and this could be the final nail in the coffin.