November 17th, 2013 By John Signorella
New York, NY- This Saturday night, the eyes of the combative sports world will be focused on the highly anticipated return of global superstar Manny Pacquiao‘s attempt to prove he’s still got the “goods” in a highly intriguing affair of consequence.
BIG TEST TO SEE WHAT PAC’S GOT LEFT
After being floored in emphatic and dramatic fashion in his last bout (more on that subject later), multidivisional champion Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KOs) looks for redemption when he faces durable rugged former champion Brandon ‘Bam Bam” Rios (31-1-1, 23 KOs) over 12 or less rounds of welterweight (147) pound at the Cotai Arena Venetian Resort in Macao, China. Televised coverage begins at 9:00 PM ET on HBO PPV.
HURRICANE MANNY’S PATH OF DESTRUCTION
Since his “coming out party” massacre against Marco Antonio Barrera (W TKO 11), Boxing Writers Association of America’s “Fighter of the Decade” Manny Pacquiao is the first boxer in history to win a staggering eight world titles in eight different weight divisions. Considering the level of opposition he has faced: thrice scrapping with Erik Morales (L UD 12, W TKO 10, W KO 3), four times going to war against Juan Manuel Marquez (D 12, W UD 12, W SD 12, L KO 6), and by pounding out one sided drummings over world renowned pugilists such as Oscar De La Hoya (W TKO 8), Ricky Hatton (W KO 2), Miguel Cotto (W TKO 11), Joshua Clottey (W UD 12), Antonio Margarito (W UD 12), and Shane Mosley (W UD 12), Manny’s ring endeavors have proven to be credible accolades in support of his status as an all-time great and living legend. And yes, even factoring in his last two losing efforts: (a horridly scored 12 round controversial points loss to Timothy Bradley followed by a brutal knockout defeat against Juan Manuel Marquez), rest assured; Pacquiao still has cemented his legacy as Hall of Famer regardless of those aforementioned current mishaps.
A CLOSER LOOK AT PAC MAN
Many of “Pac’s” victims have been systematically broken down by “master” trainer Freddie Roach’s pre fight observations. Roach’s fight plans consist of strategies and tactics which are usually executed with relative ease by Pacquiao resulting in victory for the Filipino phenomenon. During such conquests, Manny has shown his own brilliant ring intellect by displaying an ability to control a foe by making an opponent fight his type of fight. On the contrary, (as seen in the early rounds against Cotto, and also in the mid rounds with Marquez); Manny (on occasion), can get caught up in the heat of the moment, become distracted, deviate from his predetermined fight plot (but to his credit, more often then not); make the adjustments necessary to beat his opponent at their own game. Nonetheless, Pacquiao’s style is a unique hybrid of aggressively fast paced boxing accompanied with sound defense. In consideration of his overall attributes of speed, power, movement, and genius boxing IQ, (at his best) Manny Pacquiao may not only be the game’s most complete fighter, he may be the most dangerous. Albeit, as suggested by several commendable media outlets in regard to his involvement in movies, music, religion, politics, and the mental state he may be in after administering such a savage knockout in his last encounter; Manny may be “burning the candle at both ends” and is possibly losing some focus toward his commitment in the “hurt business” that is boxing.
SHOW US WHAT YA GOT KID
Possessing a highly entertaining “TV friendly style” equipped with a controversial personality, and by turning the “lights out” of 7 of his last 10 commendable opponents; youthful power punching charge Brandon Rios has dazzled his audience and has given fight fans some memorable nights at the fights. This observation was even more evident in his last 2 “balls to the wall” epic wars against seasoned former belt holder Mike Alvarado. In a scintillating showcase of human perseverance; Rio’s stopped Alvarado via 7th round TKO. However, the second tilt saw a more poised craftsman in Alvarado who tamed (what appeared to be) a clueless bull in Rios handing Brandon his first professional loss. Hence, success for Rios on Saturday night at the “big show” against a formidable opponent such as Pacquiao is a “must” and would certainly galvanize his career and command major notoriety for him in the upper stratosphere of the sport.
A CLOSER LOOK AT RIOS
As seen in a recent tiff getting chastised in between rounds by his decorated trainer Roberto Garcia for being strafed by too many shots, (being the tremendously motivated and defiant individual that he is); Rios responded with, Quote: “I fucking love this shit”. Bottom line: Brandon has an exceptionally charismatic personally and that charisma is even more pronounced when he laces up the gloves for duty. This kind of willingness and joy to be battered and absorb punishment accompanied with the solid stubborn skill set he has in his arsenal makes “Bam Bam” a very dangerous hybrid of problems for anyone he faces. In other words he’s got the “Hell code” in him folks, meaning: he’s a dude that tries to take you to Hell and if need be; he’s willing to go there with you and is well aware that only one of you will make it out. The “Hell code” is a rare trait not found by many in the difficult sport of boxing, but is a necessary quality to have and great card to play if needed at any level.
When I hafta equate an “all-time great” who was recently humbled by a catastrophic set back standing opposite of a promising “up and comer” who is just one fight abandoned from a first loss: pain, war, hunger, and carnage are just a few words that come to mind that convey an obvious formula for success in an epic crossroads meeting. From a tactical stand point, I favor Brandon’s youthfully spirited conventional style to trump a very complaisant version of Manny with some nice over hand right leads (a very powerful asset for a “righty” against a “south paw”) and KO Manny sometime around the 9th in an awesome display of give and take.