If Manny Pacquiao uses his speed, and gets those angles on Brandon Rios, he can get the W on Nov. 23. But if he decides to be 2009-and-prior Pacman, and look to over-impress the haters, he could be in for his third straight loss.
So says slick boxer Sergio Mora (24-3-2 with 7 KOs), the ex champ and current contender who just signed on with Lou Dibella, and is looking to secure a meaningful fight in the near future.
I chatted with “The Latin Snake” on Thursday and picked his brain about the Pacquiao comeback bout. “I think Pacquiao is going to be eager to have a solid win,” the 32-year-old Los Angeles resident told me. “If he boxes with speed and angles he can win a solid decision.” But, Mora cautioned, if Manny tries to be overwhelming, and “look for a sensational KO, he might end up getting roughed up and stopped again.”
Whoa…Lot of folks out there think that Rios, coming up from 140, won’t have the pop to pull a Marquez, and put Manny night-night. But Mora, who looked solid beating 29-2 Grzegorz Proksa on June 28 in Florida (UD10), obviously thinks Rios has the zip to do the job, if Manny (seen above, in Chris Farina-Top Rank photo)plays into his game.
Mora talked about something we will debate right up until fight night: the Pacquiao psyche. Will Marquez’ Taser blast right hand, his smelling salts special, leave a skidmark on Manny’s mind? Does he believe that he’s still the total package or does he wonder if he’s tainted goods? Mora weighed in…
“It’s very difficult, almost impossible, for fighters to come back after getting kayoed,” the ex junior middle champ Mora said. “They either get gun-shy or totally lose all confidence in their ability and get old overnight. Rios is young, hungry and strong, but kind of dumb,” he said, candidly. “He’s tough as nails, but at elite levels, tough is not enough.”
So, Snake, hazard an educated guess. Who wins in Macao on Nov. 23? Does Pacman break his two-fight losing streak, or does Rios pull the mega-upset and send Manny to the political arena, full-time?
Mora didn’t slither away from making a call. “Pacquiao by decision,” he said.