There is obviously no way to know who Manny Pacquiao will fight in 2013. With everything in boxing being in a constant state of flux, and taking into account how spastic Top Rank tends to be when it comes to setting up bouts, nothing that is discussed now is necessarily going to happen in the future. That said, it is getting increasingly difficult to tune out the Brandon Rios chatter.
You will recall, two weeks ago, right before Rios and Mike Alvarado were set to clash, Bob Arum came out and stated that he could legitimately see the winner of that bout getting a shot at Pacquiao in 2013. Well, not only did Rios win – he won in dominant fashion. Ever since then, boxing fans have been getting a slow and steady stream of Pacquiao vs. Rios-related analysis thrown their way – all of which inevitably raises anticipation levels for this potential match more and more.
It goes without saying that Pacquiao and Rios squaring off isn’t what fans want to see most in early 2013. What fans want to see most in 2013 is Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. If that should fail to materialize, though, this could prove to be a very legitimate Plan B. Rios isn’t as good a fighter as Pacquiao is, obviously, but he would pose certain challenges that a lot of the Filipino champ’s most recent foes haven’t exactly posed.
The Examiner’s Chris Robinson was able to talk to Miguel Garcia right after Rios versus Alvarado. During that discussion, Garcia laid out as good an explanation as anyone has thus far regarding why a Pacquiao vs. Rios would be intriguing.
“Brandon’s young, hungry, strong,” said Garcia. “I think it’s about time somebody like him is put to the test with someone like Manny. Manny, not to say anything about him or anything bad, he’s been one of the best fighters of the past decade, but I think everybody wants to see something different. He hasn’t fought anybody that young, that hungry, and I think Brandon is the guy to do it.”
He also noted that Rios knows how to take a hit. That could be particularly important if Pacquiao really does adopt a newfound go-for-the-knockout strategy this December against Juan Manuel Marquez.
“You can see, he can take a punch,” Garcia said of Rios. “Brandon can definitely take a punch. He’s not going to get hurt easily. He’ll keep fighting, keep coming forward, and he still carries that pop in him. He’s moving up in weight, but he was still able to hurt the bigger guy. He definitely has a shot.”
And that is all anyone can ask for against a guy like Pacquiao. A shot.
We'll see what happens.
(Kudos The Examiner)