Manny Pacquiao hasn’t won a boxing match in two years. Now, his chance to pick up a victory once again is almost here.
Pac-Man will take on Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios on Nov. 23 in Manuca, China. The vacant WBO International Welterweight title will be on the line.
Rios is also coming off a defeat, having lost to Mike Alvarado on Mar. 30 in a light welterweight battle. Pacquiao lost his last two fights against Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez. Pacquiao was once considered to be, along with Floyd Mayweather, one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport. Rios, however is hoping that Pacquiao’s recent losing streak is a sign that his skills are declining.
At 27 years old, Rios is seven younger than Pacquiao. His plan is to attack Pacquiao, who was knocked out in his last fight.
“We're going to see how he does. I'm going to come and test that chin,” Rios said in an online chat with fans at ESPN.com. “I have to test it. We will see how he handles it. We don't know yet. All I know is my style is that of a hitter. I can hit. We'll see how he handles that pressure.”
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Despite his recent struggles, Pacquiao is confident heading into his bout with Rios. In a recent teleconference, the 34-year-old gave no credence to the notion that he would be affected by losing two fights in a row. Odds-makers agree, considering he is a heavy favorite.
“My gameplan for Rios will be similar to the one I had for Ricky Hatton,” Pacquiao said according to Boxing Scene. “That fight didn’t go long enough for me to unveil everything. Maybe this time I’ll be able to show more of that plan. Maybe.”
There has been speculation that this could be Pacquiao’s last fight. Trainer Freddie Roach has stated that he would advise Pacquiao to call it quits if he suffers the same fate that he did the last time he stepped into the ring. However, Pac-Man says he isn’t ready to end his career.