When Top Rank promoter, Bob Arum, announced that Manny Pacquiao’s (54-4-2, 38 knockouts) next fight — after his Dec. 8 showdown against Juan Manuel Marquez (54-6-1, 39 knockouts) — would be on April 20, I immediately ruled out undefeated Floyd Mayweather (43-0-0, 26 knockouts) as a potential opponent.
My reasoning was simple. Pacquiao isn’t in a position to set a fight date without Mayweather’s consent, and the Filipino congressman’s request for a 45 percent split surely wasn’t going to entice Floyd.
It turns out I was right, as Bob Arum revealed Pacquiao’s next fight will likely be against the winner of the Brandon Rios (30-0-1, 22 knockouts) vs. Mike Alvarado (33-0-0, 23 knockouts) bout set for Oct. 13, during an interview with Boxingscene.com.
“The public will go crazy for that fight,” Arum said. “Imagine Manny against either of these animals [Rios or Alvarado]. Manny will have to become an animal himself. Absolutely. These guys will make him an animal.”
Rios — who came in two pounds over the lightweight limit (135 pounds) — struggled during his last outing against Richard Abril, getting out-boxed during their April 14 encounter (the tough weight cut probably had something to do with his performance). Abril clearly won the fight, but Rios ended up getting a controversial split decision. Calling him a monster is simply not accurate, as Abril made it clear that “Bam Bam” still has a lot to learn about the sweet science.
Alvarado has been a bit more impressive lately, but I’m not sure he’s ready for the likes of Manny. The 32 year-old isn’t anywhere as experienced as Pacquiao. Heck, Alvarado has never even been in a 12-round fight before.
Given the fact Pacquiao’s professional boxing career is coming towards an end, it’s hard to understand why his camp would set the bar so low. With fighters like Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, Miguel Cotto, and Timothy Bradley lurking around, Pacquiao has more challenging options available, and he’ll continue to hurt his credibility with hardcore boxing fans if he decides to take the easy road.
Ronnie Nathanielsz, “Arum: Pacquiao vs. Rios or Alvarado on 4/20 is Possible”
David is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing practitioner who has watched and studied MMA for the past 9 years. Send him your questions @davidkingwriter.