Manny Pacquiao will fight Brandon Rios towards the end of 2013, and the bout will determine how much more time he has in the sport. If he prevails and breaks his current two-match losing streak, then the sky’s the limit as far as what happens next. If he loses, however, then it’s the end of the road for him.
Coming out of Pacquiao’s showdown against Timothy Bradley, it was hard to legitimately make the case that he was done. Yes, he had lost – but it was in the shadiest manner imaginable. He clearly won the match in the eyes of everyone aside from two incompetent judges, so even though his record features the fight with a little ‘L’ next to it, nobody really saw it that way.
At the end of 2012, though, Pacquiao was defeated in dominant fashion. Despite the fact that he was winning the match on every judge’s scorecard approaching the end of the sixth round, Juan Manuel Marquez’s beautiful knockout blow left no room for discussion. He won, fair and square. (Unless you factor that one thing into the equation.)
Regardless of the fact that he’s only on a two-fight losing streak if you want to pretend that the Bradley fight was a loss, Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, says he will tell his guy to retire if he falls to Rios.
"If he loses, I will tell him to retire," Roach told ESPN. "If you lose three in a row it's your time.
"He's up there in age. I've got to keep a close eye on him. It's part of my job to protect him. I will do the right thing.”
Pacquiao opened up as a pretty solid favorite over Rios, however, odds makers tend to be overly-generous when it comes giving him good odds. Rios is fresh off two wars with Mike Alvarado and his chin is made of absolute steel. Him knocking Pacquiao out is not out of the question; Pacquiao knocking him out is.
The only way Pacquiao prevails in this one is if he outpoints his foe and doesn’t get careless like he did in that last match.