A number of boxing champions are placing their bets on Manny Pacquiao when the former world pound-for-pound king takes on Brandon “Bambam” Rios in their November 23 showdown at the Cotai Arena in Macau, China.
British boxer Ricky Hatton, whom Pacquiao knocked out in the second round of their 2009 bout believes that the Filipino would regain his old form and nail a victory in his much-awaited comeback fight.
“Brandon Rios comes to fight, and if he comes to fight Manny it could then go all wrong,” Hatton, a former world welterweight champion, told boxingscene.com reporter James Blears. “I do think it’s going to be a tough night for Manny, but I think he will come back with a victory.”
Although Pacquiao suffered two losses last year against Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez, Hatton sees that the PacMan’s talent, strength and experience will make him prevail over Rios.
Meanwhile, former four-division world champion Roy Jones Jr. said Pacquiao should finish Rios in the early rounds otherwise Rios will have a chance to beat him.
“If Pacquiao drops him, that won’t surprise me, but if Pacquiao drops him and doesn’t finish him then Pacquiao is gonna have his hands full,” Jones told boxing site On the ropes. “I have high expectations over watching that fight.”
Pacquiao’s compatriots World Boxing Organization (WBO) light flyweight champion Donnie “Ahas” Nietes and WBO minimumweight title holder Merlito “The Tiger” Sabillo both believe that the PacMan (54-5-2 win-loss-draw slate with 38 knockouts) would emerge the winner of the 12-round bout.
“We really support Manny’s comeback fight and we’re expecting a victory from him via unanimous decision or by knockout,” said Nietes, who will defend his title on December 6 at the Araneta Coliseum against a still to be determined opponent.
“He [Pacquiao] is so determined to win and is in good fighting condition. I believe he will win,” said Sabillo, who will defend his title on the same date and venue against Nicaraguan Carlos Buitrago. “Just like the rest of all Filipinos, we want to see Manny win.”