Manny Pacquiao will face former lightweight beltholder and current junior welterweight contender Brandon Rios in a welterweight bout in Macau in China on Nov. 23 (United States time; Nov. 24 in China), RingTV.com learned from Top Rank CEO Bob Arum and Pacquiao’s advisor Michael Koncz on Monday.
Pacquiao-Rios will take place at the Venetian Casino & Resort in Macau on HBO Pay Per View.
Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 knockouts), who turns 35 in December, is attempting to rebound from consecutive losses by disputed split-decision to WBO beltholder Tim Bradley and sixth-round knockout to Juan Manuel Marquez last June and December.
Rios (31-1-1, 23 KOs), who tuned 27 last month, is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Mike Alvarado in March that was a rematch of Rios’ seventh-round stoppage win over Alvarado last October. Both bouts were Fight-of-the-Year-caliber clashes.
“They’ll be fighting at 147. Michael Koncz is going over the contract, and Rios has agreed to it verbally, so that’s no problem,” said Arum. “These are guys who, when they agree, then it’s done. Manny will be signing this week, and he’s already received advances from me.
“It’s Nov. 23 in the United States, and Nov. 24 in Macau. If people want to see two guys go at it, and they want to see a fight, which I think they call it prize-fighting, (this is a fight for them). (Fans) don’t want to see paint dry,” Arum continued. “Other people like another style of fighting. That’s fine. That’s up to them. This fight is for people that want to see a fight.”
Koncz agreed that the styles of Pacquiao and Rios should make for an entertaining fight.
“I think that, based on styles, it’s a very, very exciting fight,” he said. “Rios is a guy that comes to fight annd comes straight at you.”
“You see what happened to Mike Alvarado? I think I could do the same thing to them, too,” said Rios, who became the first man to beat (and stop) Alvarado.
“Mike Alvarado, I think, he hits harder than them and he’s more tougher. Pacquiao’s an in and out guy. But you know what? Like I always do, Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. taught me very well. Break the body down and the head will fall down.”
“Rios is a good fighter who fights well in the pocket, but he’s more hittable. I want to see Manny with a good performance. I think he can knock this guy out, and this guy is one of the new generation of fighters coming up,” said Roach.
“It’s a fight that if he wins it, would keep Manny in the pound-for-pound Top 10 and Brandon Rios made some remarks about me a couple of years ago, so seeing him get knocked out by Manny would be some sweet revenge.”
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org