The Venation Resort in Macao; A newly founded Asian retreat for the sport of boxing now is set to host the return of one of the most notable 21st century fight figures – Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao (54-5-2 38 KO’s).
Bob Arum’s Top Rank Boxing made it’s debut in China on April 6th with an HBO televised Quadrupleheader featuring the professional debut of Chinese Olympian Zou Shiming. It was a mere four round bout that drew a mass attendance of thousands. A new market was cracked; more money was deposited into the bank.
Shiming looped with wide hooks and uppercuts. The shots lacked that certain zing that one is endued with when watching a grand-star in the making. His boxing ability had thick cracks. I personally expressed “great doubt” in his elite-level ability in the sport – specifically citing his age of 31.
That didn’t even daunt the hundreds of millions viewing from around the world. It snapped viewership records for the sport of boxing – Project Macao is a hit!
Due to rising tax rates for sports in the USA, and not to mention rich television deals with Asian television networks; Boxing has a brand new vacationing spot.
What fighter is known around the world, can market to any fan base, and can scavenge PPV revenue to the highest standard? Manny Pacquiao!
Since the announcement of Shiming’s debut in Macao, and even his July 27th return on HBO, Pacquiao in Macao has remained in the books. We all were aware of the situation. Pacquiao has yearned for an eventual boxing-departure to the Philippines, and to fight in front of his homeland fans. It would be doable, but always seemed unlikely; he now has his opportunity to get fairly close to those grounds. He will face Mexican-American brawler Brandon Rios on November 23rd.
Rios is a bulky, scrappy fighter. He claws out virtually every fight with his heavy right hand and singeing pressure that usually sees his opponents topple. The former Lightweight champion and 140lb contender is coming off a hard-fought defeat to Mike Alvarado. Alvarado used lateral movement, bobbing and weaving and careful boxing to beat Rios. He waned the fight in his direction in the latter rounds by keeping out of the pocket and doing just what the sport intended – Boxing!
Rios has one visible technique, crinkling past and crunching down on his opponents. Pacquiao needs to move in, land his punches, get out. Play the roll of matador he did oh-so-well against Antonio Margarito, Marco Antonio Barrera, and Erik Morales – He was nicknamed “The Mexicutioner” during this time for his humbling of the sport’s Mexican legends.
The rebellion was ignited by only one man – Juan Manuel Marquez. Marquez counter-punched and outboxed Pacquiao through three close bouts over the last ten years. Marquez was on the short end every time. In their December 2012 bout; Marquez did the unthinkable; He crushed Pacquiao in a brutal knockdown inflicted war. Bloodied, battered, one unavoidable overhand right sunk on Pac-Man’s chin. He descended to the canvas and knocked the breath out of the entire boxing public.
Can Rios do that? He isn’t supposed to. He isn’t made to. Will he? It would be a career-devastating upset that only time – or a perfectly timed right hand to the chin will tell. . Follow us for updates on this story!
Boxing freelancer Corey Quincy can be found on his Facebook page at boxing legends. Listen to his regular musings on his blog at Blboxing.com and on Twitter @Quincyboxingfan