Manny Pacquiao should fight Juan Manuel Marquez this September. It’s the fight that makes the most sense from a financial standpoint, and it’s also the fight that makes the most sense from a boxing standpoint. Nearly everyone agrees that there is no better option on the table for the former eight-division champ than squaring off against the guy who put him down, face first, onto the canvas last December.
So if everyone gets that, why is Michael Koncz suggesting that a Pacquiao-Brandon Rios bout might be in the cards? It’s bad enough that he is pushing for a match that will result in all involved generating less money while taking on more risk, but he’s also basically calling for an opponent coming off a loss as opposed to one coming off a win.
It makes no sense.
Heading into this past weekend, Rios was discussed as a potential foe for Pacquiao because the assumption was that he would beat Mike Alvarado. He didn’t. He lost, and the defeat didn’t come in Pacquiao-Marquez IV-esque controversial fashion. It was a clear loss. He will likely take on Alvarado again next, as they discussed in the aftermath of their bout. However, even if he doesn't (Bob Arum suggested they may not shoot for an immediate rematch) – why would Pacquiao (or his advisors) want to fight a guy come off a defeat for what will surely be less money when they can fight a guy coming off a huge win for more money?
When asked by PhilBoxing if Rios’ loss took some shine off a possible showdown against Pacquiao, Koncz said this: “I don’t think it does.”
Pacquiao’s fourth fight against Marquez did 1.15 million PPV buys. That’s a full 200,000 more than what he did against Bradley. Opponents matter – and Marquez brings a brand name recognition to the card that other guys don’t. It’s been said before and it needs to be said: this is the only fight that makes sense. If anything else is made, it’ll be a disservice to Pacquiao, his fans, and the boxing community in general.