Manny "Pac-Man" Pacquiao must have a stellar showing against Brandon "Bam Bam" Rios on Nov. 23 in Macao, China if he hopes to regain the respect he's lost from consecutive defeats. The talk of Pac-Man's demise can be heard from every corner of the boxing world.
Rios recently told Edward Chaykovsky of Boxing Scene: "Manny Pacquiao was the best, but everybody gets old." Even Pac-Man himself is putting timetables on his livelihood. Per The Guardian, Pacquiao "believes he has only two or three years left" in the sport.
If he loses or looks lackluster in victory, few will agree that Pac-Man will be able to stick around that long.
Because Pacquiao finds himself in not just a must-win situation but also a must-impress situation, his aggressiveness will render explosive results. There is no doubt that Pacquiao is the more-skilled fighter. His hand speed, foot speed and ability to fire from various angles gives him an edge over Rios.
Due to these advantages, Pacquiao could give Rios a brutal beating on par with the thrashings he gave Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito in 2009 and 2010, respectively.
Rios has a great chin, exceptional heart and he's ultra competitive. He can take a licking and if Pacquiao is at his best, he'll be capable and more than willing to dish one out.
On the other end of the extreme results scale, Pacquiao could fall victim to Bam Bam's formidable power. Rios knows his speed and agility limitations, thus he doesn't bother much with head movement and other tactics of self preservation.
Who needs defense?
Rios is willing to take some to give one. He's captured 23 of his 31 wins by KO/TKO and he'd love to have Pac-Man become his 24th victim.
If Pacquiao isn't careful and gets too caught up in the viciousness that has made him such a legend and fan favorite, he could be re-introduced to Memeworld.
In case you don't know what that is, its when you get knocked out so demonstratively that the social media universe creates thousands of memes to make fun of your failure.
Pacquiao is coming off a devastating and potentially career-changing KO loss to Juan Manuel Marquez. We don't know if that loss will have an emotional effect on Pacquiao. That variable mixed with Pacquiao's devil-may-care nature and professional predicament creates a potentially dangerous equation.
Either way, the Pacquiao-Rios fight will almost certainly end in a KO. The only question is, who's going to be the butt of the meme?
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