Left-Hook Lounge: Pacquiao that “Great” or Rios that “Bad”?, Is Pacquiao a Threat to Mayweather?, Froch “Gift” Victory?

MayweatherAlvarez_Hoganphotos2Alain B. (Cebu, Philippines): In the past you said that Pacquiao would give Mayweather a good run for him money. After seeing this performance, would you still say that he is a threat to Mayweather?

Vivek W. (ESB): From day one, I’ve maintained that Pacquiao’s offense would be a great threat to Mayweather, and that his ability to pepper the opponent with power shots would be a threat to anyone in the sport, and yes….that does include Floyd Mayweather. His offense was never a question. The only question about Pacquiao was his ability to handle punches. Now that we know he can, without doubt, he remains a threat to Floyd Mayweather and everyone else. Now…..that being said…..when you peel back the layers of excitement and fanboy-isms attached to this potential showdown and see it for what it is, I don’t think anyone thinking clearly can tell me that Pacquiao is the lock to win that fight.

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Manny Pacquiao Outclasses Rios in Macau

Eleven months removed from his last fight, a crushing knockout, there was some doubt surrounding Manny Pacquiao’s career moving forward. Tonight in Macau, China Manny Pacquiao got the job done and won a near shutout after twelve rounds of welterweight action. Brandon Rios was facing a real tall order in Pacquiao as he went up in weight yet again to meet his best opponent to date. Despite being taller and heavier and seemingly carrying the weight well Rios just could not stylistically impose himself. The fight from round four on turned more and more into an exhibition of Pacquiao’s hand speed and his ability to create angles. A puzzled Rios was greatly limited offensively as he just could not get the geography he needed to become effective.

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.

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Pacquiao fans breathe a sigh of relief as he shuts out Brandon Rios

Looking at the score cards wouldn’t tell you the whole story of Manny’s victory of Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios. If that was all you had to find out what happen Sunday (Saturday night here) at the Cotai Arena, Venetian Resort in Macau, China, then you would probably think Brandon Rios didn’t put up much of a fight. However, if you asked Manny Pacquiao, he would change your opinion, explaining that Rios was dangerous right up until the final bell.

In fact, Manny told HBO’s Max Kellerman in the post-fight interview that Bam Bam hurt him in the fifth round. Manny appeared very tired, and speaking softly gave an honest response when admitting Rios hurt him. He thought it might have been in the fifth round. Regardless, Manny added that Rios was very strong and tough. Manny said it was a hard fight for him; although, he knew he was winning, so in the twelfth round, he backed off, giving up any possible chance he might have had for a stoppage. He wasn’t about to make the mistake of getting careless again.

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Pacquiao defeats Rios by lopsided decision

To no no great surprise, Manny Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KO’s) won his tune-up fight against former WBA lightweight champion Brandon Rios (31-2-1, 23 KO’s) by a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision tonight in the Cotai Arena, Venetian Resort, Macao, Macao S.A.R., China. Pacquiao won the WBO International welterweight title belt. The judges scored it 120-108, 119-109, 118-110.

It really wasn’t much of a fight unless your idea of a fight is to stick a slow guy with a high guard in the ring with a much faster guy. It was kind of boring because it wasn’t competitive and it reminded me a lot of the mismatch that Bob Arum set up between Pacquiao and Joshua Clottey back in 2010 except that Clottey mostly stood in one place all night while covering up with a high guard to block incoming. In contrast, Rios, using his high guard, followed Pacquiao around like a moving punching back.

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Analyzing Pacquiao vs Rios

rios673433(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. 

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Hatton: Rios is a dangerous fight for Pacquiao

rios563Ricky Hatton thinks that Manny Pacquiao could (54-5-2, 38 KO’s) could be in for a bit of a problem tonight against Brandon Rios (31-1-1, 23 KO’s) if he’s unable to get Rios out of the ring by the 6th round in their fight in Macao, China.

Hatton thinks Rios’ power and his nonstop pressure could give Pacquiao major problems if he’s not able to get Rios out of there quickly to avoid having to take his massive shots round after round.

This is a fight that Hatton believes that Pacquiao will definitely win with his power and hand speed. Hatton expects Rios to walk into one of Pacquiao’s big shots that will end matters early on. Where Pacquiao could have problems though is if he Rios is able to take his power the way that Antonio Margarito did three years ago.

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Pacquiao out to mirror a nation ready to fight back

pac31Manny Pacquiao is fighting to overcome more than just his sensational knockout loss last year, with the hopes of a nation devastated by Typhoon Haiyan pinned firmly on his shoulders this weekend.

There’s no getting away how big a star Pacquiao is in his homeland of the Philippines, a country which has been left reeling following the natural disaster which has claimed the lives of over 5000 people and displaced as many as 4 million.

In the early hours of Sunday morning on BoxNation the face of the Philippines steps back into the ring for the first time since his emphatic knockout loss to the Mexican counter-puncher Juan Manuel Marquez last December, when he takes on Brandon Rios in the gambling capital of the world – Macau.

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Weights: Pacquiao 145, Rios 146.5

rios673433(Photo Credit: Top Rank/Chris Farina) Manny Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KO’s) successfully made weight today for his fight for the vacant WBO International welterweight title against the younger 27-year-old Brandon Rios (31-1-1, 23 KO’s) for their fight on Saturday night at the Cotai Arena, Venetian Resort, Macao, Macao S.A.R., China.

Pacquiao weighed in at 145 lbs., and looked in great shape. Rios came in slightly heavier at 146.5. The Rios looked, he appeared to be a little drained, and it seems like he’ll rehydrate quite a big by tomorrow night. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Rios coming into the fight with a 10-15 pound weight advantage over Pacquiao tomorrow night.

Rios is definitely bigger fighter here, and it’s going to be interesting to see what he can do with his superior size. He won’t have the speed or the experience advantage, but it’s very possible that he could make up for that with his size and youth. He takes a great shot and he’s getting the 35-year-old Pacquiao at the ideal time with him coming off of a knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez, and not having looked good in many years.

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