Manny Pacquiao has faced with a series of tough decisions ever since his knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez last December.
First, he had to decide whether his body had taken too much punishment and if it was maybe time to retire. Once he decided that he wanted to keep on keeping on, he began to contemplate which of the two men that he had recently lost to he should fight next. When they, amazingly enough, decided to fight each other, he was forced to pick between his two Plan B guys – Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado. Ultimately, he settled on the former.
The question at this point is, how smart of a decision was that? Rios is coming off a loss, Alvarado is coming off a win. Rios has an iron chin, Alvarado has proven that he can be dropped. Rios is hungry to show that his most recent defeat was a fluke, Alvarado is probably decently complacent at this point.
While doing press for his upcoming bout, Pacquiao told reporters that he felt like Rios’ style suited his style better.
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"Brandon Ríos is a good boxer, tough opponent and I believe we can give a good fight,” he said. "Especially his style and my style it is very good to fight each other, we can create a lot of action in the ring."
Sure, that part is true. Presuming Pacquiao doesn’t run away from Rios the way Shane Mosley ran away from him once upon a time, this has the makings of a barn burner. That being said, you know what else was a barnburner? His last bout versus Marquez. An interesting fight is great for fans – but it isn’t necessarily great for a guy who is 0-2 in his last two.
"I'm not really sure (how many fights left),” Pacquiao said at the same event. “As long as I can still fight, I can fight. In my mind right now, maybe I can still fight maybe two to three years from now.”
We’ll see. Pacquiao may want to fight for two or three more years, but if Rios ultimately makes him realize that he selected the wrong guy earlier this year, November 23rd may be the last time we ever see one of the greatest fighters of this era.