Manny Pacquiao will no doubt be remembered as one of the greatest to ever grace the canvas, but following back-to-back losses his legacy has been somewhat tarnished.
Pacman’s devastating knock-out loss to Juan Manuel Marquez was the first time he has been stopped in over 10 years. Prior to that, the Phillipino was on the wrong end of a split decision against Timothy Bradley, although many would have had Pacquiao up on the cards.
The former eight-division world champion begins his comeback trail against Brandon Rios in Macau and he is priced at 1/6 to get back to winning ways.
Interestingly, Rios is also promoted by Bob Arum’s Top Rank and while the hard-hitting American would attain superstardom with a victory, priced at 4/1, Arum’s most marketable commodity is a Pacquiao at the top of his game. You have to think that this is a match made to make the world believe that Pacman is back.
And a knockout victory would be the perfect way to do so. With both fighters’ styles, this is a fight that, one way or another, will probably be over before the end of the 12th.
Rios, the number six ranked welterweight in the world, possesses knock-out power in both hands and likes to get on the inside and exchange with his opponents, often looking to get them out of there early. Pacquiao cannot take him lightly or could suffer a similar fate to the Marquez fight.
Unlike Marquez, who Pacquiao has always struggled with, Rios is not an awkward counter-puncher and does not have world-class footwork or the greatest defence.
If Pacquiao is sharp and throwing his usual unpredictable, lightening-quick counter punches against an immobile opponent, it is hard to see this fight going any other way than a Pacman victory.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.