Manny Pacquiao had the option of selecting either Mike Alvarado or Brandon Rios after being spurned by Juan Manuel Marquez and Timothy Bradley. While many people felt like the former made a lot of sense for him, he ultimately opted for the latter.
Initially, both Pacquiao and his camp refused to elaborate on why they picked Rios. A few weeks removed from the decision, though, they’re finally explaining what prompted them to take on one of the toughest guys in the game.
“Sabi niya mas exciting fight daw si Rios kasi pasok ng pasok (He said it’s a more exciting fight because Rios loves to come in),” Pacquiao’s business manager, Erik Pineda, said in a recent interview with the Philippine Star.
That was the selfless justification: Pacquiao did it for the fans. Of course, two seconds later Pineda added the real reason why they made the choice that they made.
“We looked at styles and Rios had a better style for Manny. He’ll come forward and throw a lot of punches. Whether it goes five or 12 rounds it will be entertaining for the fans,” he said.
Ding ding ding.
Pacquiao and his team couldn’t care less whether a bout is entertaining – that’s why they wanted a second fight against Bradley before they settled for this one against Rios. They want a good stylistic match-up, which they apparently feel Bradley poses. The question is: Are they underestimating the 27-year-old star just a bit?
Yes, Rios’ style is simple. In theory, stopping him shouldn’t be a problem. That being said, before Alvarado, nobody actually stopped him. And even in that second fight against Alvarado, Rios hit the eventual winner with some shots that probably would’ve leveled Pacquiao.
Pacquiao is a three-to-one favorite against Rios. Everyone is expecting for him to go in, be patient and outpoint his foe en route to a decision victory. Will that happen? Maybe. But it’s certainly not the lock that some, including seemingly Pacquiao’s camp, see it as.