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Rios Fight Is Pacquiao's Biggest Test Yet

BY Raymond Markarian ON July 25, 2013
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Pacquiao breaks camp 120604 004aFirst of all, I’ve never seen anyone get knocked out the way Manny Pacquiao did against Juan Manuel Marquez last December. Talk about a face-plant, I thought he was dead. It was scary. It’s even scarier that Pacquiao woke up --after smelling salts--with a smile on his face. “That’s sports,” he said afterwards.

There is false hope in sports. Hope of resurrection or resurgence or hope of money and fame. Pacquiao already has riches and an entourage to go with it.

That entourage was large before his fourth fight with Marquez. They led cheers in the ring with pumped fists but they weren’t in the ambulance with Pacquiao ( seen above, with trainer Freddie Roach, in Chris Farina-Top Rank photo)after the fight. Only his wife, yes, the one woman HBO showed vividly crying her eyes out for her beloved unconscious husband was in the car ride with Pacquiao en route to the hospital to get a brain scan.

Apparently Pacquiao left the hospital with a negative Catscan, meaning there was no neurological damage from the Marquez blow. Yeah, sure, we’re supposed to believe that.

Man, that knockout was creepy. The brain takes a pounding in the boxing ring like we don’t know.

Amir Khan told me he does not remember anything that happened after the big shot he took from Marcos Maidana in round 10 of their December 2010 bout. He doesn’t remember the punch. He doesn’t remember the rest of the fight. And he doesn’t remember the post fight interviews or anything that happened in the locker room afterwards.

Crazy.

And you wonder why those that practice the boxing “hit and don’t get hit” philosophy last longest in the sport.

Every punch a fighter takes to the head only adds to the pounding. You know excessive shots can’t be helpful to the skull, or a fighter's career for that matter.

Just one year ago Pacquiao was arguably considered the best fighter in the world. Today his career has plenty of question marks. People already doubted Pacquiao’s commitment to boxing, because of his involvement in politics among other things, and now his ability to take a punch is in question.

What happens if Pacquiao takes another big shot? Who knows?

One thing for sure, if there is any hope to resurrect Pacquiao’s boxing career then he needs to win his next fight against Brandon Rios in Macau, China, on November 23 the same way he lost his last one, by knockout.

He needs to erase the memory of his face-plant in the ring, or destruction, or whatever else you want to call it.

But is he motivated to make a comeback? Maybe he’ll play it safe against Rios. What happens if Pacquiao’s motivation is gone?

Well gone is his invisibility and gone is the notion that he is one of the world’s best three fighters. All that changed after one memorable punch. (At least it was memorable for us.)

Angelo Dundee, the Hall of Fame trainer for Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard, once told me, “Motivation is a misused word. Fighters are great professionals. They prepare themselves to not let a loss happen again. They’ll try to improve on whatever they did before. Sometimes, a loss is a win because you learn something from it. That is the important thing.”

On the surface, here’s what we know about Pacquiao’s next fight.

Rios is a curious choice for Pacquiao’s return. Not a safe one. The Mexican slugger loves to bang and embraces contact. Rios is a pressure fighter and prides himself on making fights exciting, and Manny has most success with brawlers that are willing to engage.

Some of Pacquiao’s recent opponents, like David Diaz and Antonio Margarito, came straight to him and he tore them apart.

All of Rios’ fights are rough, as proven in the two recent battles against Mike Alvarado in which Rios went 1-1. He doesn’t have a counter-punching style like Marquez. He enjoys a give-and-take war. After the shocking loss to Marquez, Pacquiao could not have asked for a better opponent than Rios, some argue, to showcase his speed, footwork, and wide-ranging punches.

But we don’t know how much that Marquez knockout loss affects Pacquiao mentally. If Dundee said fighters prepare themselves to never lose again, how much is Pacquiao willing to prepare?

Despite his recent downward spiral, Pacquiao is still one of the hottest fighters in boxing. If Pacquiao loses to Rios, he might walk away from the sport. Meanwhile, a win can propel him back near the top of the pound-for-pound list.

The Rios fight is not about pride for Pacquiao. It’s about returning to the top. A poor showing against Rios can create more doubt around Pacquiao’s future in boxing. Or, dare we allow ourselves to ponder the sad possibility…A loss, particularly a conclusive one, could easily mark his final entry into the squared circle. Fans of Manny, and what he means to the sport, have to be hoping that Mr. Dundee’s wisdom about learning from losses applies in this case.

Twitter Contact: @raymarkarian

Comment on this article

brownsugar says:

The only way I don't buy this fight is if GGG has another PPV in Europe against anybody.

brownsugar says:

Have to admit I'm more excited about Cleverly vs Kovalov... Bradley vs Marquez... Alvaros vs Provodnikov....and the proposed Stevenson vs GGG.

amayseng says:

PAC won't be fighting a roided out monster like jmm was.
It's no doubt he was hgh'ed up.
And yes peds and hgh do make a difference for a 39 year old athlete.

We won't know how pacs chin will hold up because he is gonna dismantle rios in terrifying fashion and it will be quick.
Rios will get buzzed and try to prove his chin and take a beat down.

Bernie Campbell says:

His biggest test so far has been his conviction to speak his mind and not cave in to the politicaly correct powers that be of professional boxing! His religious convictions, his firmness on being honest and steadfast despite what may be in vogue or not in the commercial arena! The guy has fought everyone except the obvious! He has been a noble champion!

Radam G says:

YUP! The "falling" Angel Heredia will not be anywhere near Bam Bam. Bam Bam has basically told him to double fudge off with dat syet "isometheptene, oxilofrine and pseudoephedrine" that was in Hulkquez's arse. [YUP! I said it! And it will eventually come out.] Besides, some world track and field stars were caught with the falling angel's jive diz and dat in them. Hehehehe! The falling angel ain't so slick after all. Now quietly off the boksing radar screen, he is going to fall.

The seedy game of boxing is acting like all is right, and has been that way. WTF! Nothing the powers that be want to say. WHY! The fanfaronades and suckas born ev'y minute will still pay. Making clowns outta 'em ta 'em is okay! They just have hatred for Da Manny! And to anybody with a brain that should not be too uncanny! What's up with 'em FRISCOES? Holla!

Bernie Campbell says:

Besides fighters being exploited by pressures to succeed in the use of roids and continuous damage to the body inflicted by serious injury! How bout exploitation of friggun post teen ring card girls! Having subject to gaping men in their 40s and 50s lusting after the scantly clad women alerting patrons what friggun round it is! Don't you think that's kind of primitive? Sometimes the women's anatomy is shown more than intended in a view from behind! What the heck does that have to do with boxing? But they continue to dope the public up! With Race, with sex, with style and nationalism!

Radam G says:

Hehehehehehehe! Let those working gals shake dat thang, B-Camp! Those horny old men need to lust. Men watching beautiful dames, damsels and dolls is a needed MUST!

When Eve arrived in the Garden of Eden, Adam couldn't keep his friscoe eyeballs in his head from watching her goods. BTW, was not Adam in his 40s or 50s when Eve stepped into his world. Dude was a weak missing-ribbed sucka -- I mean friscoes. Hahaha!

Just ask the Roast! If God Made Anything in this life Better than the anatomy of a dame/damsel/doll, we humans don't know about it, because God Kept It to Himself. Hehehe!

I'm a sinner! And I'm all for getting horny between rounds. On some nights, the ring girls are the most and best action. Oh, YUP! Holla!

Bernie Campbell says:

Radam, You talk too much sh.. boy! The various books say nobody knew who was neked until they ate apple pie! Now you wouldn't want anybody watching your Moms that way, or dis your sis like that, or even your wife. tell the truth! What in blazes does this have to do with the sport? Whad does that say about credibility of boxing! Be serious!

Radam G says:

B-Camp, you are one paradox and a morality cop. I told you that I'm a sinner. Of course that type of work is not for my moms, sisters and/or wifey.

Anyway, American pro football has cheerleaders. Boxing has ring girls. It is just the way it is. Boxing used to have ring boys. Holla at the bouts of the 1890s to 1950s. WTF! Just the gals nowadays. I'm down with that. Never again ring boys,, PLEASE! But keep those XX-chromosomes types. Holla!

Carmine Cas says:

Well each scribe has to take a certain side, and Ray is playing the Manny's toughest test yet card. The points are valid, however I think Rios is the perfect fight for pacquiao. If he's close to his normal form he'll slice and dice Rios to a late stoppage. But there is still danger of course, how will manny take solid shots from bam bam? That was a brutal knockout. And keep the ring girls please, attractive women dancing/showing off come with almost every main stream sport; football, basketball, boxing, mma. At least half of the audience in these sports is male, sex sells. Sh*t Bud Selig should take a page out of the former's book and implement ball girls, lmfao maybe I'll start watching the Mets and Yankees

Bernie Campbell says:

I still have to disagree with you big birds about the ring card girls! Instead of disrespecting these young to be brides, who may be on some sort of emotional dope that theyre gonna be actresses or some friggun singer. Who at their stage of the game don't know the full meaning of Fig Leaf! Let these old *** New Jersey Housewives or Women of Atlanta strut their stuff for public consumption without reprucussion of their baby protégé's. This way the 40 and 50 year old men that lust, bring a feather to the cap to the sea hags! Pacquiao could have been in there with Lamont Peterson also, it might be a better fight!

amayseng says:

Bernie Campbell it's 2013 you'd be hard pressed not to find a 22 year old female on top of a table in some bar 3x a week in this day and age. This is the reason amayseng stays single.

However,

God bless the ring girls.

Last year my late father, myself and my son hit a up a couple fights and one of my memories was us 3 , 3 generations father son and son stopping mid discussion for a fantastic ginger ring girl who stepped in front of us to enter the ring. Damn. That girl was fantastic and it was just sort if an awkward and funny situation. We had front row seats, unused to train with the promoter and he hooked me up.

Anyways That was our first of only 3 live fights we got to see together.

But damn those girls were fine.
It was near university and the college babes were out.

Needless to say we never told my smother but laughed about it on the way home.

Just a sentimental story about my dad and son I guess.

Bernie Campbell says:

Amysing, Ive gotta disagree with you son, What you loose on Earth, You loose in heavan! The buck gotta stop with these idiots that run the show! Organized Crime? Why do you think its so important to these Middle Eastern types to cover their women? There is definitely some truth evident! Whaaat you clowns think you have a corner of the market in debauchery? Things are very tame nowadays trust me! Nobody past 50 wants to own up to their sh..! why do you think there is absolutely no integrity left for you friscoes! Pacquiao and Maidana is a better fight than Broner and Maidana!

amayseng says:

I agree it is a horrible time.
I won't allow MTV on in my home and my boy is now 14.
It's out of control.
Society and humility, honor and respect are at an all time low.

The Lord said be humble in your accomplishments.
No one is.

But I do love the ladies.
As ring girls. Ha.

brownsugar says:

Bless the heterosexuals of this world for they will enjoy life.

deepwater says:

Life doesn't come out of an A$$ no matter what the TV tells you. The NYC mayoral race is between a pervert and a deviant. The city comptroller race is between a john that used our tax money to bang broads and the former pimp lady that supplied the broads. You can not make this stuff up. Morality is at an all time low and when the media (this editor included) attack religion at every chance you must ask yourself what is their agenda and why are they pushing their cult system?

Bernie Campbell says:

Beauty is what that beholds! These cats that push dope haven't reconciled their sh** yet! What would a fight be like between Manny and Zab Judah?

amayseng says:

PAC Madaina def better than broner Madaina.
I don't think broner can handle a legit hard hitting ww. U can't play in the minors for 3 years then step up to randy Johnson without being over whelmed. Doesn't work like that.

PAC beats a very game Judah.
Probably knock out.

brownsugar says:

The fact that Rios is considered a major test for PAC speaks to the perception of how far has fallen...PAC must send a message to the world that he is back... despite Floyd's comments about PAC having to sign up with Mayweather promotions (and give Mayweather fights)... I still think the fight will be made...as the pool of marketable welterweight fights continues to dwindle. If FM gets past Canelo...expect the fight to be made in 2014...Personally I'd like to see Matthysse vs PAC first to set up the encounter (Garcia would lose to pack in my opinion).

amayseng says:

Although I think as many others do PAC destroys Rios that doesn't mean Rios is an easy out for him or anyone.
Rios has a granite chin, is a strong thudding puncher and makes u fight every second.
A PAC win will be impressive still even tho the words "Taylor made for PAC" have been used excessively and amateurly.

Floyd's BS about PAC having to sign with him and fight under him is condescending in the greatest way possible.
I mean think about it. The 2 superstars of the sport the last ten years and one tells the other he must fight under him for him an his company because he lost to his most challenging rival.

I mean come on, things like this show what a piece of **** Floyd can be.

Radam G says:

Da Manny has not fallen at all. Bam Bam Rios being a stiff "major" test for him is just promotion talk. The stiff "major" test will be between Buffet Bradley and Hulkquez fighting. Both fighters are shot. And they will have an interesting shotfest come October if the fight goes off.

OMG! Promotion talk and double jive are even saying that Money May is going to have a stiff "major" test with the red-headed hype. NYET! Not on this planet. Holla!

Radam G says:

JSYWK! Team Hulkquez is considering pulling out of this bout because they don't want Hulkquez to take the roids-and-PEDs test done by VADA. I wonder WHY??? Hulkquez is complaining that he is a very hardworking honest athlete and shouldn't be forced to any of Buffet Bradley's demands, because the big-footed one is not yet a "top star in demand."

"He is new, and should respect Marquez," cries Hulkquez's trainer Nacho Chips -- I mean Beristein. Hahaha!

Wow! I hope that this shotfest comes off. Either pugilist shoulda and coulda fought Da Manny for a mint in China, but they were a couple of wuzzies. Now LOOK! Petty soon, their arses nobody will book. Both of their careers have been shook!

The Cali Cranium Crusher with decisions of a gift and a lift. And the Aztec Mexican Hulkquez with roids and PEDs put in his arse by "Fallen" Angel Heredia -- the greatest peddler of "dat syet," as Pops Joy May calls roids and PEDs, of our time.

The fallen angel has world track and field superstars in trouble for his services. And now the NFL -- the Yanks' pro football circuit -- has said that it will be running tests on footballers for dat syet. [Probably some of the fallen angel's loyalist users.] Hehehe! Danggit! The fallen angel is going to be outta work. And his trifling arse will probably end up bytch stitching on Hulkquez, formerly a quail's raw-egg eating clown, who would drink his deep yellow-colored urine.

Don't you just LUV da truth and da WHOLE truth. Eventually it will always RISE and will be as HOT as the SUN. Hehehe! He who laugh last has the best FUN! Hahaha! Holla!

amayseng says:

I mentioned weeks ago the fight wouldn't happen.

Radam what type of PEDS is heredia pedaling?
Is it not hgh?

Radam G says:

The "Fallen" Angel Heredia has been peddling the roid "Oxilofrine" to speed up a slow arse like Hulkquez. And the roid isometheptene used to tolerate pain. And of course pseudoephedrine believed to increase endurance. Holla!

amayseng says:

Radam you are a human dictionary.

mortcola says:

Bam Bam is gonna be a physical test for anyone, but he doen't have the precision or IQ to pull off that magic counter, that once in a lifetime shot by JMM that just might have been PED assisted. So, while Pac better be in good shape, Bam Bam love of rumbling plays right into Pac's meat tenderizer skills without presenting him with any special countering ability. It will be fun to watch while it lasts, though.

kidcanvas says:

out with the old ? lol rios is a punching bag and pacquiao's going to beat his *** like a bongo .. thank god i dont pay for this crap

kidcanvas says:

Markarian, ur dreaming or an arm chair qtr back...many a great fighter has come back from that kind of ko ..

Radam G says:

Wow! From the great "Wall of China," Da Manny is far from being vΔg¡na! He is back to being one mean D word that rhymes with slick. Bam Bam's butt, Da Manny is going to kick. Whuppin' arse, Da Manny is back on track. Don't call it a comeback.

What went down in Sin City is no more. Now the BIG SHOW is on an Asian shore. There is so much moolah to be made. We don't need any haterade. The whole world is a stage. And now in this Asian part of it, you muthasuckas in North America, prepare for Da Manny's sweet science rage. Holla!

Carmine Cas says:

Bernie Campbell it's 2013 you'd be hard pressed not to find a 22 year old female on top of a table in some bar 3x a week in this day and age. This is the reason amayseng stays single.

However,

God bless the ring girls.

Last year my late father, myself and my son hit a up a couple fights and one of my memories was us 3 , 3 generations father son and son stopping mid discussion for a fantastic ginger ring girl who stepped in front of us to enter the ring. Damn. That girl was fantastic and it was just sort if an awkward and funny situation. We had front row seats, I used to train with the promoter and he hooked me up. So we were 10 feet from the ring girls all night. My 13 year old really wanted to go back for more fights ha.

Anyways That was our first of only 3 live fights we got to see together.

But damn those girls were fine.
It was near university and the college babes were out.

Needless to say we never told my mother but laughed about it on the way home.

Just a sentimental story about my dad and son I guess.


That was actually a nice story, I'm sorry to hear about your father Amayseng, may he rest in peace. I too enjoy the ring girls lol

Carmine Cas says:

Amysing, Ive gotta disagree with you son, What you loose on Earth, You loose in heavan! The buck gotta stop with these idiots that run the show! Organized Crime? Why do you think its so important to these Middle Eastern types to cover their women? There is definitely some truth evident! Whaaat you clowns think you have a corner of the market in debauchery? Things are very tame nowadays trust me! Nobody past 50 wants to own up to their sh..! why do you think there is absolutely no integrity left for you friscoes! Pacquiao and Maidana is a better fight than Broner and Maidana!


Lol B Camp not all middle eastern women are covered, just the religious ones; and it's their choice apparently (well in western countries). And it's lose not "loose", it's 2013 let women enjoy the autonomy that they strived for over the last 80 years. They know what they are doing, they're getting paid $$ to smile and look good, some of them have limited choices as far as a career or know no better which is a shame and some others prob just enjoy it. These are the girls you don't take home to mom lol

Carmine Cas says:

The fact that Rios is considered a major test for PAC speaks to the perception of how far Pac has fallen...PAC must send a message to the world that he is back...
...... despite Floyd's comments about PAC having to sign up with Mayweather promotions (and give Mayweather fights) before the 2 could meet..... I still think the fight will be made...as the pool of marketable welterweight fights continues to dwindle Pac remains the last available superfight..If FM gets past Canelo...expect the fight to be made in 2014...Personally I'd like to see Matthysse vs PAC first to set up the encounter ....

Broners needs to return to 135 or 140 and STEPUP incrementally....he is obviously not going to be a force at 147....at least for a while....well actually never because the Lomachenko's and Errol Spences of the world will be waiting .


Valid point as far the WW division running out options for Floyd, especially marketability wise. But if Pacquiao is with Top Rank still I don't know how that will play out. I'd love to see Lomachenko whoop Broner

Bernie Campbell says:

Im speaking to you commercial prostitutes as best as I can! I could speak to you in a foreign tounge! You guys are under a mass illusion! The women belong in the kitchen , they belong raising children, they are a voice of reason! they maintain the nest! They give emotional support to all concerned! They spot dirt and they clean it! If you disrespect them, it will fly back in your faces big time! You don't feed a cat sunflower! What you loose on earth you loose in heavan! Meditate real carefully! How bout Pacquiao vs Karrass?

amayseng says:

That was actually a nice story, I'm sorry to hear about your father Amayseng, may he rest in peace. I too enjoy the ring girls lol

I appreciate that thanks.

amayseng says:

Im speaking to you commercial prostitutes as best as I can! I could speak to you in a foreign tounge! You guys are under a mass illusion! The women belong in the kitchen , they belong raising children, they are a voice of reason! they maintain the nest! They give emotional support to all concerned! They spot dirt and they clean it! If you disrespect them, it will fly back in your faces big time! You don't feed a cat sunflower! What you loose on earth you loose in heavan! Meditate real carefully! How bout Pacquiao vs Karrass?


I agree and I think that's the problem I today's day and age.
Now I'm not saying a woman shouldn't be able to work and have a career I just think raising kids and and family should come first.
Unfortunately women today have careers first and raise the kids second. You can't raise your kids for an hour everyday and expect their not to be problems in life.

Bernie Campbell says:

Word! But fch the careers! They should join the PTA or church Group if they wanna stay busy! There is utterly too much unnatural competition in the work force in the present day! I stress unnatural! It is not a healthy competition! And sh.. is planned that way! The phrase is Whatever you loose on earth, you loose in heavan, whatever you bind on earth you bind in heavan! Muslim women don't do that sh.. whether religious or not bro! My condoleces Amysing! How bout Many mixing it up with Erslandy Lara at a catch weight! And to think they put a muzzle on Manny's mouth before the Bradley fight!

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