When Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao (54-5-2) goes head-to-head with Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios (31-1-1) on Saturday, Nov. 23 at the Venetian Macao in Macau, China, the superfight will offer the international fans the fireworks they expect from a bout of this magnitude.
Pacquiao and Rios are two of the hardest-hitting competitors in the business, and each has become known for his aggressive style in the ring. While there is always a chance this bout could go the distance, each fighter has the power and mindset to end this matchup early with one punch.
Here is all the vital viewing information for Saturday’s marquee fight and a breakdown of exactly how these two fighters will steal the show and deliver a true spectacle for the fans around the world.
Where: Venetian Macao Hotel, Macau, China
When: Saturday, Nov. 23 at 9 p.m. ET
Watch: HBO Pay-Per-View
Live Stream:HBO Go
Breaking Down Saturday’s Main Event
Saturday’s main event between Pacquiao and Rios has all the earmarks of an instant classic, and the desire from both men to gain a decisive victory in this marquee matchup will result in a one-punch knockout.
While fans will point to Rios' aggression as his biggest advantage—his forward-moving style has helped him amass an impressive 31-1-1 career record—he has not faced a fighter that shares or even exceeds his own pace in the ring.
Pac-Man isn’t the young fighter he once was, but he still packs serious power in his strikes and has the ability to stick and move with the best in the business. While the legend’s speed has diminished a bit over the years (Pacquiao is now 34 years old), he is still widely regarded as one of the fastest punchers in the sport.
Rios is fighting for the chance to etch his name into the annals of boxing history just as Juan Manuel Marquez did when he knocked Pac-Man out, but the American will be standing toe-to-toe with a man fighting for more than just his legacy.
The Filipino congressman has done so much to help his home country over the years, but the recent typhoon that hit the Philippines has created death and destruction. While the former champion is unable to leave camp to help victims this close to a megafight, Pacquiao has dedicated his training and Saturday’s fight to the victims, their families and his homeland.
Pac-Man made a statement to the Associated Press via ESPN:
I really want to visit the area and personally do what I can to help our countrymen who have suffered so much in this terrible tragedy. But I'm in deep training for a crucial fight so I regret I cannot go. I will send help to those who need it the most, and I enjoin all of you to pray for our country and people in these trying times.
As if coming off two straight losses wasn’t difficult enough to overcome for Pacquiao, the burden of fighting for an entire nation may weigh too heavily on the veteran. If Pac-Man isn’t 100 percent focused on Rios Saturday, the American will shock the world.
Just as Pacquiao was knocked out by Marquez in his last fight because of his aggressive nature even in the waning stages of rounds, Rios has the skill and the punching power to capitalize on a blatant mistake.
Pac-Man may have lost his last two bouts, but he is still a much smarter fighter than Rios.
Both brawlers have the unique mix of power, speed and elusiveness that can bring them a victory Saturday night in China, but no matter which star stands tall to close the pay-per-view, the real winner will be the fans.
Expect a knockout finish to this superfight with Pacquiao walking away victorious.
Predicted Winner: Pacquiao via 10th-round KO