"I Wouldn't Be Surprised If Pacquiao OR Rios Wins By Knockout"
|Written by Michael Woods|
|Friday, 19 July 2013 12:11|
Paul Malignaggi has gotten good reviews as an analyst for Showtime. I asked the Brooklyn-bred boxer, who is still licking his wounds from a split decision loss to Adrien Broner on June 22, still thinking in his mind what he might have done differently to sway the judge who gave it to Broner, 115-113, to switch gears and assess one particular fight coming up in the near future.
What will happen in the Manny Pacquiao-Brandon Rios faceoff, which sees Pacman ( pictured above, in Chris Farina-Top Rank photo) seeking to right his ship, get a much needed win while testing a chin that could be fatally compromised after being checked last December by Juan Manuel Marquez?
"For however long it lasts it should be a good fight," Malignaggi told me. "Both Pacquiao and Rios can knock each other out. Bam Bam can punch pretty hard."
I wondered if Rios and Malignaggi had ever sparred and the answer is no, for the record.
"I do worry a bit about Rios that guys that use their legs against him gets him a little out of his element," he continued. "But I expect an entire camp working on cutting the ring off, using good aggressive footwork, will pay off. Sometimes people think only a guy going backwards needs good footwork. But you need it going forward too. I expect at camp for Rios to get at that. He needs good footwork to come forward against a skilled guy like Manny. Manny goes in and out. Alvarado gave Rios problems with movement and Pacquiao will be a better mover than Alvarado. You don't want Pacquiao to dictate the pace of when he fights, you went to get at him during times when he's looking to rest after a combo, get on him, force the pace.
And who wins the Nov. 23 clash between the 34-year-old Pacman, with the 54-5-2 record, and the 27-year-old Texas native who lives in California, and boasts a 31-1-1 mark?
"I lean a little bit towards Pacquiao," Malignaggi said. "If Pacquiao knocks Rios out I wouldn't be surprised. But I wouldn't be surprised if the fight ended in a knockout for either guy. They are both dynamite punchers who get hit.
Let's go with Pacman, a 55-45% edge to win."