Do or die for Manny Pacquiao – and the Mayweather clash

2013-11-22 14:21

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Manny Pacquiao, world boxer of the decade in the 2000s, will get an opportunity on Sunday morning to rescue his career from the ropes when he collides with rising superstar, Brandon Rios.

The 34-year-old Pacquiao has to win this World Boxing Organisation international welterweight title scrap at all cost, having suffered two shocking consecutive defeats in his previous tussles last year.

He lost to Timothy Bradley early last year before he was knocked out cold by Juan Marquez in December – a loss that kept him out of the ring for close to a year.

But according to Mauro Ranallo, the experienced US-based Showtime boxing commentator, Pacquiao has got this fight in the bag.

“Pacman will win via late stoppage. He’s a better fighter in all facets of fighting although punch resistance will be key,” said Ranallo.

It is feared that Typhoon Haiyan, which has rocked his country, the Philippines – where Pacquiao is a popular politician and national hero – may put him at a disadvantage psychologically. However, Pacquiao told Reuters: “I am more motivated for this fight, to win this fight because what happened in the Philippines. My countrymen, I want to make them happy. To bring honour to my country.”

As for the much talked about contest between Pacquiao and Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Ranallo believes chances of that fight coming to fruition are as slim as finding water in a desert.

Boxing fanatics and pundits across the globe remain divided right down the middle on who would triumph if the two talented fighters ever make it happen.

Over the past few years, negotiations for the confrontation have collapsed several times following Mayweather’s demands, which Pacquiao refused to accept.

Among other demands, the pay-per-view king Mayweather wanted his foe to undergo Olympic-style drug testing, demanded a greater percentage of the purse split and dictated to “Pacman” that he should join his promotions company – Mayweather Promotions.

But the Filipino would have none of it and is unlikely to change his mind.

With age no longer on the side of either boxer, and since Pacquiao is also a congressman in the Philippines, it is safe to say that if he loses against Rios, he might as well hang up his gloves and go into politics full-time. Boxing lovers can then kiss the Mayweather clash goodbye.

In 61 professional bouts, Pacquiao has won 54 (38 by KO); lost five (three by KO) and drawn two, while Rios boasts 31 victories (23 by KO), with a single loss and one draw after 33 paid fights.

The fight, which takes place in China, will be broadcast live on SuperSport’s SS6 and HD6 from 4am.

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