by Charles Jay
From a professional standpoint, Manny Pacquiao was the big loser in last Saturday night’s fight. But the second biggest loser might have been Brandon Rios, who was eyeing the biggest fight of his life, and one where promoters could have capitalized on Latin interest, against PacMan. It was penciled in for April 20, but that is all by the wayside now.
Photo: Chris Farina/ Top Rank
Or at least FOR now.
Yeah, he’s not going to cash in big right away. But Rios, who is one of the most exciting fighters we have seen in recent times, isn’t likely to be the kind of guy who has to starve for work. People want to see him, and why not? If you took his fights and turned them from color into black-and-white, you’d swear you were looking at something from the Gillette Cavalcade of Boxing. That’s how much of a throwback the guy is.
Not to put a knock on the guy, because he puts out more effort than practically anybody out there, but he is the type who could also conceivably get beat by anyone who is a sharp boxer or a sharp puncher. In fact, that is one of the reasons they liked him for Pacquiao. He would undoubtedly be right there in Manny’s face, because he doesn’t know any other way to be. But that means he’d be there to be hit as well. And as a fighter who had been 135 pounds and has only been at 140 for one fight, thriller he had with Mike Alvarado, to move up a few pounds again would be enough of a stretch where he wouldn’t; be viewed as a power threat against Pacquiao.
That’s the way it was looked at then, anyway.
Now he may just have to wait to see what Top Rank and Bob Arum have planned for him.
Sure, there are a lot of great fights he can make. With a guy like him, he could present a great contrast of styles with someone like, say, an Adrian Broner, at 140 pounds. A rematch with Alvarado would be a great fight for fans, and those who saw the first clash between the two certainly wouldn’t pass up that opportunity.
But of course, this is where the “business” aspect of boxing comes into play. Broner is a Golden Boy guy, which means that fight is hard to make. And Alvarado is seen as someone he doesn’t necessarily gain from fighting again. It’s time to move ahead, and the fans sometimes come in second place, in the sense that they don’t always get to see what they want to see, because not all the parties are satisfied.
Rios is pleasing enough, with that style that is as entertaining as any that exists in the world, that he could get a healthy number of fans excited in just about any matchup he engages in, but you just know something is going to happen. But at this point he’d like to get paid, and paid big, if he possibly can.
Could he still be a potential Pacquiao foe?
Well, we know that Arum could probably turn him into another Arturo Gatti in that he could create some thrills and get Arum a lot of HBO dates, but the promoter ideally would like to hold him back if he can for something very substantial. Who knows – maybe it’s Timothy Bradley (another guy without a dance partner) who will eventually provide the opposition. Pacquiao needs to rehabilitate his career a little, and the ideal way to do it, as has been discussed, would be to fight Marquez again and get some payback.
That’s what many people think is going to happen, but in this business nothing is definite until it’s signed on the bottom line. So if there is somewhere either Pacquiao or Marquez need to go in the meantime, while the other is perhaps still deciding, either of them, or even Bradley, could knock on Rios’ door.
And if any of them do that, they better duck, because this guy’s coming out swinging.