In five months, Manny Pacquiao will look to pick up his first win in two years as he steps in the ring with Brandon Rios. The boxer is coming off back-to-back defeats after having been beaten by Timothy Bradley in June of 2012 and Juan Manuel Marquez Jr. towards the end of the year.
The bout will be one of the most important in Pacquiao’s career. He’s never gone this long between victories, and he will be approaching his 35th birthday when he laces up the gloves on Nov. 23. If Pacquiao can’t get the job done against Rios, he might decide to call it quits. Trainer Freddie Roach has stated that he would tell Pac-Man to retire if he can’t win later this year.
Despite his losing streak, Pacquiao is expected to emerge victorious against Rios. Following the bout in China, there will be several options for Pacquiao’s next fight.
If the boxer had his druthers, Pacquiao’s next opponent would be Floyd Mayweather Jr. The two have never agreed to a fight because of issues involving money and drug testing, but members of Pac-Man’s camp say that is no longer a problem. The matchup remains the No.1 fight that most fans want to see, but Mayweather isn’t looking to face someone with two straight losses. It might be a longshot, but Pacquiao would need a very convincing win over Rios to make Pacquiao vs. Mayweather a realistic possibility.
The most likely next fight for Pacquiao might be a rematch against one of the boxers who beat him in 2012. He did not exercise his rematch clause against Bradley, but assured fans he would regain the WBO welterweight title after losing a controversial split decision. Pacquiao could also choose to take on Marquez, who he lost to in December for the first time in four tries. The two drew over a million Pay-Per-View buys last time around and could make a lot of money with a fifth bout.
Before agreeing to fight Rios, Pacquiao was looking to fight either Bradley or Marquez. Both boxers turned down offers from Pacquiao’s camp and they will fight each other on Nov. 12.
Saul “Canelo” Alvarez is also on the list of potential opponents for Pacquiao. The 22-year-old is set to fight Mayweather in October and has no losses on his professional record. If Alvarez can put up a good showing against the top boxer in the world, a showdown between he and Pacquiao could be in the cards for 2014.