In a recent Podcast of mine with Top Rank head Bob Arum, he said that the upcoming fight between Manny Pacquiao and Brandon Rios is a "must win" fight for Manny. Arum made it clear that a win for Pacquiao was a must, and he's probably right.
If Pacquiao loses to Rios he'll have dropped fights to Marquez, Bradley (controversial) and Rios. His stock would drop like a stone in a swimming pool. Pacquiao not only needs to win against Rios, he has to win convincingly. Honestly? I think he should do just that. Previous to the knockout, he was doing very well against Juan Manuel Marquez. To me, he was dominating Marquez. Then he got caught, and the rest is history.
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He'll need to do the same thing Vs. Rios, only not get caught. Nobody really knows how Manny will react if he gets nailed flush on the button again. Rios can hit pretty hard, and it takes an awful lot to stop the kid. He just keeps on coming. Pacquiao's speed should present a lot of trouble for Rios. Rios is not going to be able to punch with Pacquiao, so he will have to time him. The one way you can get to Pacquiao is to time him. This is what Marquez did.
A big convincing win for Pacquiao over Rios would put him back into the mix. A convincing win gives him a few more big payday fights. A loss? A loss would be bad news for Manny's boxing career, and I believe a loss would send him into retirement. Time will tell on that.
I'm getting mixed reports out of his camp. Some of my sources say he's having a strong training camp. Some of my sources say that he's not as focused as he needs to be. Arum told me a few days ago that he'll be flying to the Philippines shortly to see for himself how Manny is doing. This is a huge fight for Pacquiao. One would think that he would be focused and very determined to win this fight. As discussed above, a loss Vs. Rios would be nearly career ending.
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