November 22nd, 2013 By Kevin Perry
WILL THIS BE PACQUIAO’S LAST BOUT?
Las Vegas, NV- Sunday, live from Macau, China, Filipino star Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KOs) faces a typical foe in Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios (31-1-1, 23 KOs) on HBO PPV. The two will fight Sunday morning to accommodate the American PPV audience, and the fight will air live here Saturday evening at 9pm EST. Rios, who currently resides in Oxnard, Ca is the perfect foil if he follows the script. He marches forward relentlessly, has average footwork, and is limited defensively. Unless Pacman is a shot fighter after his 6th round knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez (55-7-1, 40 KOs) last year, he should gobble up the Mexican American like a power pellet.
RIOS EXPOSED BY BOXING
While Rios is a good fighter, his limitations were exposed in his last fight against limited boxer- brawler Mike Alvarado (34-2, 23 KOs) in a 12rd unanimous decision loss, and a controversial split decision victory over Richard Abril (18-3-1, 8 KOs) last year . While no one is comparing Manny’s style to the defensive and technically sound Abril, the Filipino’s advantages in hand and footspeed are apparent, and the oddsmakers have Manny a clear favorite over the somewhat one-dimensional Rios.
Rios however is a good puncher, who throws in volume and has a wide array of punches including a stiff jab, left hooks and body shots. It should provide some good entertainment for the PPV audience regardless of the outcome. Manny would be best to not stand right in front of Rios to give him the opportunities he’s predictably looking for. While Manny is coming off of a knockout loss, Brandon has been in two brutal battles in a row against Alvarado in which he appeared hurt a number of times. The wear and tear of Rios should be considered a factor here as well even though at 27 he is several years younger than the 34 year old Filipino congressman.
FROCH FACES TOUGH TEST IN GREEN BUT GOOD GROVES
In a solid bout that has come under the radar, IBF super middleweight (168lb) champion Carl Froch (31-2, 22 KOs)
faces countryman George Groves (19-0, 15 KOs) in a 12 round title bout, live from Manchester, England on Saturday. Groves is mostly an unknown fighter on this side of the pond, however he’s beaten some decent fighters in his short career, most notably 2008 Olympic Gold medalist James De Gale (17-1, 11 KOs)(MD 12) in a showdown of UK prospects. Groves has stopped his last three opponents, and completely dominated an old Glen Johnson (52-18-2, 38 KOs) in a unanimous decision win in 2012.
GROVES ABILITY TO TAKE A PUNCH IN QUESTION
Groves is a quality all around fighter. The question mark is his chin. Groves was down against a domestic level fighter in
Kenny Anderson before stopping him in the sixth round in 2010. One thing is for certain. His chin will be tested. He’s probably a better boxer than Froch, however Froch edges him by far in level of experience and quality of opposition. Many can argue that Groves was lucky to squeak by De Gale in a bout that was really a toss-up depending on what style you preferred. This is where you got to go with Froch’s experience, even though at 36 years of age you have to wonder how many times Froch will have to go to the well to get a victory. Groves has an 11 year age advantage at 25, and way less milage on his chassis.
Mr. Perry plans on doing a weekly or monthly mailbag column. Questions of comments can be send to firstname.lastname@example.org.