November 21st, 2013 By Jarrad WoodsPACQUIAO-RIOS IS EXPLOSIVE!New York, NY- This weekend marks Manny Pacquiao’s (54-5-2 38 KOs) return to the ring as he faces Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios (31-1-1 23 KOs) in a welterweight (147 lb) scrap being held in Macau, China. After losing his last bout via devastating knockout courtesty of the right hand of Juan Manuel Marquez last year, speculation has mounted over Manny’s future, as he appears to be on the decline in recent bouts. There have also been rumors of early Parkinson’s syndrome, secret surgeries to fix broken bones in his face and jaw and some simply believe that the old Manny Pacquiao is long gone. As fans and media mull over the Pacman’s future and debate on whether he is or isn’t the great fighter he once was, he’ll prepare for a significant bout that can place him back on top or end his career for good.
“PERFECT” PAC FOE RIOS IS PRIMED FOR SATURDAY
Brandon Rios is about as straight forward as it gets, in every sense. He doesn’t possess many wrinkles, slick defensive moves or surprises. He is a brawler, that comes forward and enjoys being hit almost as much as he enjoys dishing out punishment. Although Pacquiao isn’t the consummate technical boxer, he is effective against brawlers because he possesses greater speed and agility. It’s likely that he can beat Brandon to the punch from the outside and moves enough to avoid multiple flush punches.
RIOS TO MAKE MANNY DIG DEEP DOWN INSIDE
Brandon Rios and his team, including coach, Robert Garcia believe Manny is fading and is ripe for the plucking. With two back to back losses, one a devastating knock out, it appears team Rios expects Manny to be less of a threat than he was just a few years ago. Although this fight has been speculated on for quite some time, it is likely that this is the best time for Rios to face Manny, given some of the factors involved.
PAC AGREES TO DRUG TESTS 3 YEARS & TWO LOSSES LATE
For the first time, Pacquiao has inexplicably agreed to participate in random VADA (Voluntary Anti-Doping Association) drug screening. This alone was the purpose that initial talks broke down between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather in 2010. Several fighters have adopted a positive attitude towards testing as many have been caught using everything from synthetic testosterone to banned diuretics in recent years. This would seem to be an advantage to Rios as Pacquiao had previously complained about becoming weak after having his blood drawn, among other issues. If there an ounce of truth to that, Rios potentially has an advantage, at least mentally coming into Saturday’s bout.
ALEX ARIZA IS THE BRANDON RIOS WILDCARD!
Another factor here, is that Rios has employed former Pacquiao strength and conditioning coach, Alex Ariza. Ariza and Freddie Roach apparently didn’t see eye to eye which resulted in Ariza being fired and ousted from the Pacquiao inner circle last year. Ariza know’s Pacquiao well, and if he know’s he half as good as former Tampa Bay Buc’s coach, John Gruden knew the Oakland Raiders in the 2003 Superbowl, Pacquiao’s in trouble.
BAD BLOOD & GYM SPAT STARTED BY ROACH
As reported by many boxing outlet’s, team Rios and team Pacquiao clashed a couple of days ago due to an overlap of booked gym time in China. Freddie Roach reportedly scheduled Pacquiao’s gym time at 11am, but Rios and his crew were running over and this caused Freddie to verbally attack Robert Garcia and others. Pacquio’s former strength coach, Ariza WWE front kicked Freddie in the chest, mocked his Parkinson’s (low blow) and called him a homosexual. Other’s got involved and Freddie apparently made comments about the Mexican ancestry of team Rios, referring to them as, “stupid” and asked for Ariza to be arrested for assault.
WHO WILL IMPOSE THEIR WILL?
This is a toss up fight in a sense. If we consider Manny damaged goods due to a devastating knock out which many fighters never seem to come back from, Rios is the likely winner. But both fighter’s are coming off losses and if Manny can employ some of the tactics used by Mike Alvarado, it could become an easy night. This is especially true if Manny can channel some anger due to the blatant disrespect of his coaches health and condition by not only Ariza, but Rios himself in the past alongside former Pacquiao opponent, Antonio Margarito. I think this will be a factor and long with Manny’s experience and determination, I believe he will win by decision of possible late stoppage.