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Pacquiao vs Rios: Pac-Man Must Win Pressure-Packed Bout to Keep Career Going

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http://ringnews24.com/images/pixel.gifManny Pacquiao has lost his past two fights and must get back on track with a triumph over American upstart Brandon Rios to have any chance of seeing another marquee bout in his illustrious career.

At 34 years old, "Pac-Man" isn't over the hill so to speak as a fighter, but the fact that he was knocked out for the first time since 1999 in his last loss to archrival Juan Manuel Marquez is not a good sign.

Pacquiao's trainer, Freddie Roach, has even admitted that he will discuss retirement with his pupil if Pacquiao does not perform well in the Rios showdown on Nov. 23 in Macau.

Rios is relentless in his aggressive, attacking style. Such a matchup would be ideal for Pacquiao in his heyday, but there are doubts surrounding him after his recent shaky form.


The ever-anticipated fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Pacquiao is a remote possibility at the moment as it is, but it is a dream matchup that Pac-Man's promoter, Bob Arum, is refusing to give up on.

If Pacquiao looks good in defeating Rios, Arum believes the fight can get done, per BoxingScene.com's Ronnie Nathanielsz. Roach has promoted the possibility as well, per ESPN.co.uk:

Every big fight that was supposed to happen in boxing happens somewhere along the way, I just hope this one isn't going to happen too late when they're both washed up and not the same. Then they're just doing it for the money, anyway.

I still have hope. Mayweather's in the same position [Pacquiao] is. You've only got eight fighters in the world that can sell on pay-per-view and make money. That's why I give it a shot.

So Roach is saying Pacquiao might retire if he loses, yet he and Arum are eager to get Pacquiao into the ring with the best contemporary pound-for-pound fighter on the planet if he wins.


That makes the Rios fight packed with pressure and elevated stakes, serving as a career crossroads for Pacquiao.


A potential rematch with Timothy Bradley, who commenced Pacquiao's current losing streak by topping him in June 2012, is another possibility beyond the gridlocked-to-date encounter with Mayweather.

But Pacquiao's status as a truly bankable star moving forward hinges on beating Rios, a fighter who will be ripe for revenge after dropping his first professional fight in a rematch against Mike Alvarado.

Rios is seven years Pacquiao's junior and knocked out 11 of his previous 13 opponents before falling in his last bout. That type of energy and the powerful punches he packs could finish Pacquiao early if the more experienced veteran isn't careful.

With his career hanging in the balance, look for Pacquiao to come out and set the tone, putting to rest any doubts about his boxing future.

As long as his trademark lateral quickness and lightning-fast reflexes are intact, Pacquiao should be able to dispose of Rios, who will burn himself out too early and suffer from ascending to welterweight for the first time in his career.

Read more Boxing news on BleacherReport.com




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