Manny Pacquaio made short work of Brandon Rios on Saturday, landing a number of powerful blows en route to a decision before 13,101 cheering fans. Now the bout, and the strong comeback effort by Pacquaio, has boxing commentators thinking about a bout with Floyd Mayweather.
Coming into the Rios bout, it looked like Pacquaio’s career had reached its conclusion. He lost a decision against Timothy Bradley and then was knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez in his last fight, but was determined to come back against Rios.
In the resounding victory, Pacquaio said he was keeping his home country of the Philippines in mind as they recover from Typhoon Haiyan.
“This isn’t about my comeback,” Pacquiao said. “My victory is a symbol of my people’s comeback from a disaster, a national tragedy.”
The win sets Pacquiao up for an April 12 fight in Las Vegas, either against Ruslan Provodnikov or Bradley.
But boxing followers think the win could lead Manny Pacquiao to a long-awaited fight with Floyd Mayweather. The two have come close to securing a fight, but it’s always fallen apart.
Manny Pacquiao had said he wanted the match with Brandon Rios to prove the he was still one of boxing’s best, but made it clear that his career would go on whatever the outcome.
“It’s one of the most important fights of my career because I want to show my fans and the world that I can still compete at a high level with elite boxers,” Pacquiao said. “I am expecting to win this fight. It’s a really important fight for me in my boxing career because I lost the last two. It doesn’t affect me. As far as boxing is concerned sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. I feel comfortable and confident about going on to win this fight, but I am not looking to retire if I lose this fight.”
But his handling of Rios proved that Manny Pacquaio still has a lot in the tank, and his fans are just as excited as ever to see him fight.
“My motivation is that boxing is in my blood,” Pacquiao said. “I enjoy it and I like to entertain my fans worldwide.”
As for whether a fight with Floyd Mayweather might be next, Manny Pacquiao said: “You’ll have to ask him.”