DUBBED by many boxing gurus during his peak as “the greatest fighter that ever lived,” eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao was toppled twice last year, first by American Timothy Bradley who beat him by a controversial split decision, then by Mexico’s Juan Manuel Marquez who dealt him a vicious and devastating sixth-round knockout.
Now Brandon Rios, the Pacman’s next opponent this coming Nov. 24 at Venetian in Macau, China, wants to go a step further.
He wants to retire Pacquiao. Or maybe it’s just a more dramatic way of saying that Rios wants to beat him, because beating the Pacman is tantamount to retiring him. This is a must-win fight for the Pacman—otherwise he’s done.
According to a report in www.philboxing.com, the Rios camp plans to apply tremendous pressure on the Pacman by hitting him on the head and in the body the way Antonio Margarito did three years ago.
“Pacquiao did not do so good against Margarito. Antonio put pressure on him, so that’s one thing I really want to do. I want to put pressure. We will see how he reacts to that. I want to go for body shots. I want to say that I was the one to retire Manny Pacquiao,” Rios was quoted in philboxing.com.
Former world lightweight champion Paulie Malignaggi told esnewsreporting.com that the Pacquiao-Rios match will be a good one and it could go either way.
“I think Rios has to find a way to cut the ring down. If Brandon makes Manny uncomfortable and cuts the ring down, Manny’s in trouble. If Brandon doesn’t, he’s in trouble. It’s up to how Brandon cuts the ring down on Manny.”
A win for Rios, he said, would open the road to superstardom for him.
Meanwhile, WBO president Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel said a Pacquiao-Marquez 5 is still possible, but only if both fighters win against their respective opponents in their upcoming matches.
Marquez will clash with Bradley on Oct. 12 at Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas.
“If Marquez and Pacquiao both win, the WBO regulations would view Pacquiao as the mandatory challenger to Marquez. Pacquiao goes up against Rios for the WBO international title, while Marquez will try to capture the world welterweight championship of the WBO from Bradley. If both win, the bout between them would be ready, but of course the fighters would have the last word,” Valcarcel was quoted in notifight.com.
While Pacquiao is willing and eager to engage in a fifth confrontation with “El Dinamita” which will give him the chance to redeem himself from the stigma of that shocking facedown knockout, Marquez has been doing everything to avoid another meeting.
“I’d rather stay with the memory of that ‘lucky punch’ that I connected on Pacquiao. It’s about pride and honor, not money. That’s why in that contest, there was no championship at stake, only the WBO’s Champion of the Decade belt. There are no plans to fight after Bradley. We’ll leave this commitment first and then see. First I want to see how I feel and if I plan to continue my boxing career,” Marquez told badlefthook.com.
Marquez said that he has proposed that, if ever, Pacquiao-Marquez 5 should be staged in Mexico.
He is afraid of another controversial decision turning the tide against him, Lance Pugmire wrote in a Los Angeles Times report.
Marquez said Team Pacquiao has rejected the offer to stage the fight in Mexico.