Manny Pacquiao’s upcoming fight against Brandon Rios will answer a lot of questions. Was the Filipino star’s recent knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez a fluke? Is he still one of the best fighters in the world? Does he stand a chance in a prospective bout against Floyd Mayweather Jr.? These are all things that people have opined about over the past year. On Nov. 23, we should get a definitive idea of where we stand in regards to all of them.
That being said, the most pressing question in front of us as we head into Pacquiao-Rios is: What happens after it? If we’re being honest, this is a largely worthless bout.
If Rios wins, he won’t get any credit for it. People will just dismiss the victory as one that came against a guy at the end of his career. If Pacquiao wins, similarly, folks will disregard it nothing more than a throwaway victory over a one-dimensional fighter coming off a loss. That’s why, despite the fact that the match hasn’t actually happened yet, people are already looking at what will happen once it’s over.
Or, more specifically, people want to know whether this is Pacquiao’s last fight.
According to Freddie Roach, it very well could be. Speaking to the media this week, the Filipino star’s longtime trainer admitted that if the fight "does not go well, we will seriously talk about his retirement." That shouldn’t be a shocking statement, seeing as if Pacquiao loses he’ll have lost three in a row, but it still is. It’s basically an admission of doubt. Roach may not think that Pacquiao is done, but he’s not ruling it out either.
"It's really hard to say until we see the fight, but I will be the first one to tell him to retire," he added. "We have an agreement that as soon as I tell him that, he will retire."
How true is that? We’ll all find out together in a week.