Sports

Manny Pacquiao and Brandon Rios Know They’re in for a Battle

| by Alex Groberman
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Given how far away their bout is, Manny Pacquiao and Brandon Rios are getting a pretty decent amount of coverage this month. Even though there is still six months to go before both men return to the ring, analysts are already breaking out the stats and trying to determine what strategy each will apply in order to get back on a winning path.

Pacquiao is on a two-fight losing streak, with his most recent defeat coming to arch rival Juan Manuel Marquez via sixth round knockout. There was some talk about him possibly returning in March or April of 2013, just three or four months later, in a tune-up of some sort just to get his confidence back. However, because that's a ridiculously stupid idea, all involved scrapped it in favor of giving the Filipino champ nearly a year to recover.

Rios, meanwhile, suffered the first loss of his professional career when he fell to Mike Alvarado via unanimous decision. Five months prior to that, he beat Alvarado via a TKO. There was some early talk of the pair immediately signing for a third match-up, however, their management teams decided to space the second fight and inevitable third fight out a bit.

With both guys coming off loses, naturally, each one is looking for a big win this November. Even though his camp has been relatively quiet, it’s been said that Pacquiao is already working on the best way to deal with a boxer as aggressive as the one he’ll face next. At the same time, Rios, reportedly is working out like a madman in anticipation of the biggest bout of his career, too.

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“Rios is embarked on the mother of all training camps,” reported Tempo.com.

As he should.

Whereas Rios’ aggressive style will likely cause him to go for the early finish, Pacquiao, at this point in his career, is all about stretching the fight out. Even if he wanted to bang it out with Rios, the Filipino star simply lacks the power to knock anyone out anymore. At the same time, Rios’ move-forward-at-all-costs style is extremely taxing, and when you couple that with the way Pacquiao will make him move throughout their entire bout, it’s no surprise that the 27-year-old is already working to get into game shape.

This is going to be a very fun fight.