In case you’re wondering, the World Boxing Organization’s international welterweight title belt will be on the line when Manny Pacquiao faces Brandon Rios on Saturday night in China.
OK, we know you weren’t actually wondering.
Rather than vying for a meaningless trinket few knew existed to begin with, the multi-division Filipino champion will be trying to resurrect a career that some claimed was in its final throes after his stunning knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez last December in Las Vegas.
In Rios, a once-beaten former lightweight belt-holder, he meets a stylistic match many consider made to order. Rather than the obvious counterpunching danger presented by Marquez, Bam Bam’s main contribution is an aggressive approach and a thirst for confrontation.
The Kansas-born Californian—beaten by Mike Alvarado (UD 12) in his last fight eight months ago—confidently guaranteed an upset when interviewed during HBO’s recent fight card from Corpus Christi, Texas, stating he was “ready to go out there and retire Manny Pacquiao.”
Meanwhile, in the words of Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, Rios “is in a lot of trouble.”
Date: Saturday, November 23, 2013
Time: HBO pay-per-view starts at 9 p.m. ET; main event no earlier than 11 p.m. ET
Venue: The Venetian Macao’s Cotai Arena, Macao, China
Odds: Pacquiao (-600), Rios (+400)
Note: Odds provided by bet365.com and correct as of 11/17/2013 at 5 p.m. ET; subject to change.