Manny Pacquiao has opened as a pretty solid favorite over Brandon Rios for their upcoming showdown, much to the surprise of some. While Rios obviously doesn’t boast the sort of résumé his Filipino counterpart does, and though he is obviously coming off a loss, it’s hard to make the case that Pacquiao has looked substantially better than him in their last few outings.
The odds makers have a tendency of favoring Pacquiao, though, so some of that may be at work here.
Recently, the good folks at Boxing Scene sat down with Bernard Hopkins and got his two cents on how this showdown will unfold.
"Brandon can punch,” the boxing legend said. “Are you serious? They are brave as hell. Listen, if Pacquiao fights this fight after getting knocked out like that - I have to take my hat off to him because that's a brave move. It's a not a good business move, but that's a brave move. But I guess they want to come back so quick to show that he's okay, but to me that's even worse."
He’s right, Rios can punch, and he also has a ridiculous chin. That being said, while he clearly won’t be knocked out by Pacquiao, he could very well get out-pointed by him.
In his last fight against Mike Alvarado, Rios had his foe staggered on numerous occasions and essentially allowed himself to be outsmarted. The fight was there for the taking for him, again, and he simply gave it back.
Hopkins’ point is a sound one – Pacquiao will be more susceptible to being knocked out now. However, it’s also undeniable that he looked noticeably better against Juan Manuel Marquez (before getting knocked out) compared to his prior three fights.
This is definitely going to be an interesting match-up.