10:59 PM May 8th, 2013

By: Beth Celis, May 8th, 2013 10:59 PM

I got a bit worried when I read in the papers the other day that Top Rank promoter Bob Arum had picked Brandon Rios to be Manny Pacquiao’s opponent when he returns to the ring on  Nov. 24.

I saw the first Rios-Mike Alvarado fight on television some months ago and it was the most action-packed,  highly physical match I’ve seen in years. You can even call it brutal.

Of the two, Brandon was the more aggressive. He never took a step backward. He just attacked and attacked and attacked.

In boxing expert lawyer Ed Tolentino’s words, “Rios is like  an energizer bunny. He just keeps throwing leather, no backward step.”

Rios knocked out Alvarado in this first match, but lost by decision in the rematch.

My thought at that time was Arum should stay away from these fighters.

Yesterday I voiced out my apprehensions to Ed.

“Should I be scared for Manny?” I asked him.

* * *

“Yes ma’am, you have every reason to be scared and concerned for Manny,” Ed said. “He needs to get back his A game or he will B-flat.”

“Rios is a live underdog because there is no telling how much Marquez’s right hand took out of Pacquiao’s confidence. It’s make or break for Manny.”

According to Ed, the Nov. 24 match is definitely something to look forward to and be excited about.

“This early we are already salivating  at the thought of the two boxers figuring in a punch-a-thon. We will know if Pacquiao still has any fire left in him because Rios will take the fight to him.”

Already, a vision of the boxing scene  at the Venetian Casino Resort in Macau  on Nov. 24 has formed in Ed’s mind.

“Considering that both are sluggers,  Pacman versus Bam-Bam will be like two nuclear missiles on a head-on collision. There will be so much explosion it will be like the Chinese New Year celebrated in Macau ahead of schedule.”

* * *

Notes from the Davao PBA All-Stars:  Slam Dunk King Chris Ellis grew so attached to his trophy, he carried it everywhere he went around Davao. He even hand-carried it on the plane on his way home to Manila. I won’t be surprised if he went to the extent of reserving a business class seat for his newly acquired prized possession… Congratulations to Globalport team owner Mikee Romero, MVP of the exhibition game between the PBA governors and officials and the PBA press corps. Mikee scored 31 points and hauled down 16 rebounds in this match where league personalities like PBA commissioner Chito Salud, governors Rene Pardo of San Mig Coffee, Mon Segismundo of Meralco, Pato Gregorio of Talk ‘N Text and Robert Non of Ginebra also saw action. Mikee flew to Davao from Boracay in his private jet just to play ball. After the game, he flew back to Boracay again.

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