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Fight Against Rios a Must-Win for Pacquiao’s Boxing Legacy

On November 23, 2013, the aging Manny Pacquiao will look to re-establish himself after two consecutive defeats when he takes on Brandon Rios in Macau, China. Rios, a native of Lubbock, Texas, is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Mike Alvarado in March after previously defeating him in October of last year.

Pacquiao and Rios will go head-to-head for the vacant WBO International Welterweight title. Rios is guaranteed the biggest purse of his young career at $3 million — and for good reason. It’s a huge fight for the Texas native, though sportsbook boxing betting lines have Pacquiao as the overwhelming favorite going into the fight.

The first of Pacquiao’s two consecutive losses came against Timothy Bradley in June of 2012. It was a decision mired in controversy, as Pacquiao lost the bout according to a split decision by the three official judges, while most media outlets had actually scored the fight in the Filipino’s favor.

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The WBO had a group of judges review the fight, and they ruled it a unanimous victory for Pacquiao. Unfortunately for him, only the Nevada State Athletic Commission can overturn a decision, so the WBO instead recommended a rematch between the two fighters.

Later in the year, Pacquiao met Juan Manuel Marquez for a fourth time, and was defeated by a right-hand knockout punch to the jaw in the dying seconds of the sixth round.
Once rated by many major news outlets as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, Pacquaio currently sits at number seven on The Ring’s list. At age 34, Pacquiao is coming down the stretch of a long and successful career and is desperately in need of a win.

After his knockout loss to Marquez, Pacquiao’s wife called for his retirement, citing concerns for his health and wellbeing. It’s widely believed that her husband has plans to turn to his political career after his retirement from boxing, but who can say when the Pac-Man will hang up his gloves?

The fight with Rios is a must win for Pacquiao — and there’s no reason to believe he can’t get it done at the Venetian Macao in November.

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