The first round of the fight was a very interesting round as Pacquiao attempted to shake off the cobwebs that have developed after such a long layoff. Brandon Rios fought the first round very tactically and more measured than usual. He did not come barreling in and was really doing his best to establish his jab.
(Photo Credit: Top Rank/Chris Farina) Brandon Rios was chosen for a reason tonight. The pay per view welterweight feature fight in Macau, China is a chance for Manny Pacquiao to rebound his career against an opponent that is designed for him to win and win big. At his best, 2009 to 2010, Pacquiao absolutely demolishes Brandon Rios with relative ease minus the occasional hard connect. This fight has shades of his destruction of Ricky Hatton and his dominant and punishing decision over Antonio Margarito. Margarito of course was trained by Robert Garcia who will once again attempt to lead his fighter over Manny Pacquiao and his trainer Freddie Roach.
When a major pay per view event is announced usually the gut feeling is the correct feeling as most of these pay per view events have not been much of a mystery at announcement. Then the hype machine gets put in motion and the fight begins to get closer in perception as people either become convinced it’s a good fight or they want it to be a good fight and over think the outcome too much. After the dust settles and the outcome has been decided the same people lash out in disappointment and feel robbed by the expensive pay per view price they paid for a fight that they “foresaw” when it was first signed despite getting wrapped into the prefight emotions. When Top Rank Promotions announced that Manny Pacquiao’s next fight would be against the former lightweight titlist Brandon Rios the gut feeling was this fight is a mismatch.
In boxing six years can be an eternity for the arc of a career and the landscape of different levels of class. Six years and fourteen pounds ago Nonito Donaire was not the pound for pound fighter he is today but a real unknown. His abilities and progress as a fighter had not shown anything indicating what was to come for the sensational fighter has ultimately become. He was heading into his first world title bout all the down at flyweight against an emerging star in Vic Darchinyan.
A very cocky Darchinyan was making his seventh defense of his International Boxing Federation championship and had been on an impressive run knocking out all in his path minus one exception. That exception was Glenn Donaire, the older brother of Nonito, who lost a technical decision after an accidental foul resulted in a broken jaw. Heading into this fight it did not appear that Nonito was going to bring anything into this fight that was going to stop the blossoming Darchinyan from continuing his drive toward the larger stardom of boxing as he was hyped to be capable of.
The narrative for Timothy Bradley’s career before last night was that of negativity and spoiled success. Bradley has been a fighter more criticized than praised on his rise to prominence and his time in the limelight has been one of turmoil. Boxing fans and pundits alike have had a slow transition to giving credit to Bradley after his ugly technical decision win over Devon Alexander in 2011 and his controversial decision over pound for pound boxing icon Manny Pacquiao.
In a fight that was supposed to propel Bradley into stardom and millions of dollars he got his hand raised but it did little to advance him to the public and media. In a comeback defense of his World Boxing Organization Welterweight Title he was matched against an “easy” opponent that he was supposed to win and look good against in order to make people forget about the Pacquiao controversy.
Every great boxer comes to a crossroads in their career where a distinct moment can be pointed to where that fighter overcame a challenge that ultimately solidified their eternal mark in the sport. For some pugilists it’s the reaching of a benchmark like a record title defense number or besting a rival in the third fight of a trilogy or the dismantling of a great fighter. However, the more dramatic and most memorable moments of vindication can be viewed on how a fighter climbs through adversity and comes out better.
Deontay Wilder the 2008 Olympian and most recent US male boxing medalist headlined Showtime’s SHOBOX card from Indio, California and won in style. A sudden … read more “Wilder Blasts Liakhovich but remains untested; Vargas Thrills and Charlo Hammers Away”