One of boxing's greatest fighters looks to find his way back to the top on Saturday night when Manny Pacquiao steps into the ring to face Brandon Rios.
Heading into their showdown in Macau, China, Pac-Man is aiming at getting back into the win column after dropping his last two contests to Juan Manuel Marquez and Timothy Bradley, respectively. Another loss for the 34-year-old Pacquiao could be the beginning of the end for the Filipino great.
Rios is also coming off a loss, the first of his career, and is looking to bounce back while notching what would be unquestionably the biggest win of his life.
Here's everything you need to know about Saturday's clash.
Where: The Venetian Macao in Macau, Chian
When: Saturday, Nov. 23 at 9 p.m. ET
Watch: HBO PPV
Stream: Replay on HBO GO
|Category||Manny Pacquiao||Brandon Rios|
|Height||5' 6.5''||5' 8''|
Although being the favorite hasn't produced a win in either of his last two fights, Pac-Man walks into quite the favorable matchup on Saturday.
As he's shown for years, Pacquiao is one of the quickest boxers in the business—and perhaps of all time. His ability to punish opponents with fast punches and unexpected jabs, only to retreat back before taking any punishment himself, is unparalleled.
Enter a physical, grind-it-out, power boxer like Rios, and Pacquiao's advantage proves obvious.
As he proved in his two slugfests against Mike Alvarado, Rios prefers to lay it all out and push the envelope a bit. On the other hand, Pacquiao is one of the best at making his opponent miss and keeping him frustrated.
For Rios to have a chance to win, he'll need to make the most of his rare punches against Pacquiao and save his most powerful hooks for Pac-Man's jaw instead of ripping through thin air. Hitting Pacquiao with a couple of blows could shake him up.
Things should be relatively calm early on—at least as calm as a sport that involves punching people in the face can be—as Rios will try to settle in and start picking his punches. But there's no doubt who that strategy will favor.
The swift-bodied, quick-footed Pacquiao will be on a mission from the get-go, jumping on a conservative Rios early and wearing him down to where his opponent won't be able to muster the energy to make a comeback.
Look for Pacquiao to win by unanimous decision.