By Rudy Mondragon
I recently read a piece on boxingscene where Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley gave his thoughts on the upcoming fight between Manny Pacquiao and Brandon Rios. This fight is to take place November 23, 2013 in Macao, China.
Timothy gave his thoughts in political correctness fashion. He stated that Brandon is “tailor made for Pacquiao,” and that this fight is a perfect for Pacquiao to get back in the winner circle. He finished off his statement by saying that Brandon cannot be counted out however. Timothy is leaning towards Pacquiao to win of course, but wants to be safe and say that Rios will still have a shot.
He made the inaccurate comparison of Rios and Antonio “El Tornado” Margarito because he failed to recognize context in his comparison. Bradley said “Look at Margarito. If Margarito couldn’t do anything against Pacquiao what is Rios going to do? You see a big strong guy at Welterweight in Margarito and now you got a smaller Margarito coming up in weight.” Although it is true that Rios is coming up to the welterweight limit for the first time, Rios is a lot younger than the Margarito that fought Pacquiao. Margarito was also coming off a beat down to Shane Mosley and a tune up fight against Robert Garcia after sitting out for a year (hand wrap scandal). Not to mention that his first fight against Cotto, which was a war in itself.
Pacquiao fought a Margarito who was heading towards the final stage of his career. It was a bad match up where match makers knew that this fight could use Margarito as an object that would further lift Pacquiao’s career. This is not the case with Brandon.
Bradley then went on to say that “with his (Pacquiao) speed and his combinations, he’s really fast. I don’t think Rios has ever faced someone like that so I pick Pacquiao.” I get it. Bradley has to say that as Pacquiao was once his opponent, who he controversially beat. I agree with him, Rios has not faced someone with that speed. However, we can’t say for sure if Pacquiao’s speed and combos will be the same as before. He is coming off a defeat to Bradley and then a KO defeat to Juan M Marquez. Mentally, is Pacquiao ready? Can he respond well at age 34 and get his career back on track? How will Pacquiao’s mind, body and spirit respond at this point in his career? Rios is 27 and he is coming off a close defeat, not a KO defeat. I say that gives Rios an edge because he wants to avenge that defeat and get back to his winning ways. Both him and his trainer (Robert Garcia) know that this is a must win situation for them. They can’t afford to lose again.
Rios is hungry and wants this fight and knows that this is a stepping stone to future greatness, PPV fights, and becoming the super star prize fighter he wants to become. Pacquiao is on another wavelength. He has made millions in the game, he is a congressman in his home country, he has endorsements, he is a huge religious figure, he is a movie celebrity, does commercials for Hennessy, and the list goes on. What else is Pacquiao trying to achieve that he hasn’t already? What can Pacquiao feed on to make him hungrier than he has ever been?
Blood Money Boxing fans, no prediction at this time. However, I strongly believe that the physiological aspect of this fight will be huge. Which ever fighter that can find a way to dig deep and want it more than the other via tenacity and durability will win this. It is going to be a dog fight. One man will fall, the other will rise.
@rudymondragon, you definitely have the bravery to write what I fear to write about what I believe to be a living legend Manny Pacquiao. I definitely feel like the mental game of Pacquiao has got to be back to the hunger games, back when he was fighting Barrera, Morales times. One of the easiest reasons to like Manny was the fact that he used to be so simple-minded, and I definitely don’t mean that to come off as if he’s a dumbass, but he kinda was. He was literally a baby coming into the states as Roach’s prodigy and Manny regarded him as his father. In 2013 that has changed, and Manny disappointingly has infinitely more distractions in his ear compared to before. Arguably he’s wiser as a human being, and more conscious of his role as a national figure. But shit. That does not make him a better fighter.
We need to see Pacquiao as simpler and rawer. If he is that, he will not be beat. The fact that he may not be when the bell rings is already advantageous to Rios, who basically breathes boxing and nothing has changed. I think that alone will make this fight exciting to watch.