FIGHT NIGHT! Manny Pacquiao (54-5-2) faces off against Brandon Rios (31-1-1) in what should be a highly entertaining welterweight bout.
I am Manolith writer Q.V. Hough (@quinnhough), and am looking forward to seeing Pacman back in action tonight in Macao, China. It’s been a year since the Juan Manuel Marquez KO, and it will be interesting to see what the former pound-for-pound champ has left.
From 2006-2012, I lived in Hollywood, California and Pacquiao trained at the nearby Wild Card Gym. The door was always closed for training sessions, but you could get a glimpse of Pacquiao in action through the 2nd floor windows. Brandon Rios trains north of LA up in Oxnard, California, and I’ve kept up with his career through the years as he has risen through the ranks. If you’re a casual boxing fan you should know that Rios is the real deal, and is certainly capable of not only taking out Pacquaio, but ending his career. On the flipside, a Pacquiao victory could lead to the fight we’ve been waiting to see for years with Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Who do you like?
@captsingh #Pacquiao for me…I wish him the best
8:01 Let’s get it on. Four big fights on the undercard.
FELIX VERDEJO (8-0) VS PETCHSAMUHR DUANAAYMUKDAHAN (8-1)
8:06 Whoa. Look at that blonde and brunette behind Michael Buffer! Yeah, buddy.
8:10 Verdejo looks good, and connected with a decent left hook at the end of round one. The announcers are right – Duana appears to be a brawler, but only has one career KO?
8:14 Duana’s back tattoo is large and in charge!
8:15 End of round 2. Duana is working the crowd. Verdejo really packs a punch with that left…I’m anticipating a KO by round 5.
8:17 HUGE right from Verdejo 35 seconds into round 4. Duana has a tough chin. Damn.
8:19 Duana is really sticking that tongue out. He’s like the Thai version of a Jersey Shore cast member.
8:23 Verdejo is dominating, but I like the entertainment from Duana. It’s all Big V after 4. Two rounds to go.
FACT: I spent one hour in a grocery store parking lot today trying to unfreeze my the lock on my car door. I ended up buying a small jar of Vaseline, and frightened customers by dipping my car key in. It was a desperate attempt to warm up the lock…and it worked.
8:27 Verdejo straight up tagged the Duana tongue at the end of round 5. My prediction almost came true. One round left. Get at him, Verdejo!
8:29 I thought Harold Lederman was dead? Is that him? So confused.
8:32 Low blow for Duana, but it doesn’t matter. That fight was all Verdejo but props to Guana for hanging in there.
8:35 Verdejo by Unanimous Decision
ZOU SHIMING (2-0) VS JUAN TOSCANO (4-0)
This should be a good one. Shiming has won two Olympic gold medals (and is trained by Freddie Roach), but let’s see what he has left at age 32. Toscano is young buck at 21 but only has four professional fights…Shiming only has two! Two?!
8:46 Solid opening round from Shiming. He’s throwing some heavy shots, but nothing too spectacular. His trainer is the dressing room with Manny Pacquiao.
8:49 Great points by the commentators. Shiming spars with Pacquiao, which is an excellent way to see how a true champ gets it done.
8:54 Shiming is putting a beating on Toscano, who has a huge cut under his right eye. This fight should be stopped pretty quick.
9:00 “If Shiming wasn’t a boxer, he’d like to be a fashion designer or French chef”
9:01 Max Kellerman is right. There is really no point in continuing the fight, even with one round left. Toscano is getting punished.
9:05 Well, Shiming looked great but the last couple rounds were bullshit. The ref should have stopped the fight. That was difficult to watch. Shiming wins by Unanimous Decision.
ANDY RUIZ VS TOR HAMER
Wow, Andy Ruiz is not small. He is quite fat, and not doesn’t have the typical frame of a Heavyweight fighter. He is Chris Farley fat. Meanwhile, Hamer is a Penn State grad and his parents graduated from Harvard and Villanova. Let’s what happens. I haven’t seen Ruiz fight before, and perhaps he is the next BFD in boxing. I love how Tor Hamer’s nickname is “Hammer of Thor.” It rhymes. Andy Ruiz is “The Destroyer.”
9:19 Roy Jones Jr. is hyping up Ruiz, and the big boy is quite explosive. The Hammer tagged him a couple times but let’s see how Big Poppa Ruiz responds.
9:24 Both fighters are connecting, and Hamer appears to finding his groove. Watch out, Ruiz. The Hammer is coming, friend.
9:28 Wow. Big turn. Ruiz is doing his thang with heavy combos, and The Hammer is getting tired. I love how Ruiz is so fricken fat but has cat-like speed and reflexes. WHOA! Hamer quit! What a puss! Wow, three rounds and not much happened. Weak!
EVGENY GRADOVICH (17-0) VS BILLY DIB (36-2)
Re-match. 12 rounds for the IBF Featherweight championship.
9:40 Gradovich has quite the strip of hair coming down his forehead. Rough hairline. Roy Jones Jr. is praising Dib for leaving Australia, and seems to believe no one goes anywhere. Actually, I probably heard him wrong, but I’ve met a shitload of Australians around the world. They are everywhere. End of round 1, and Gradovich is bleeding.
9:50 Four rounds in and the fight is quite boring. What a weak undercard. Hopefully Pacman and Rios can deliver.
9:55 Jim Lampley told an interesting story about how Billy Dib idolized the British fighter Prince Naseem Hamed and wrote him a letter. To Dib’s surprise, Hamed replied and invited him to England. I enjoyed watching the Prince fight 10-12 years ago…epic ring entrances.
10:00 Gradovich is picking apart Dib. I’m anticipating a KO in the next round or two.
10:04 David Beckham in the house with an aggressive slick hairdo that looks like Cameron Diaz’s Jiz-hair from There’s Something About Mary
10:08 Billy Dib is getting pummeled. Stop the fight. There seems to be a sense of Raging Bull glory in his corner.
10:11 Dib’s corner stops the fight early in round 9. Evgeny Gradovich wins via TKO. Solid fight from the Siberian.
MANNY PACQUIAO (54-5-2) VS BRANDON RIOS (32-1-1)
American Idol’s Jessica Sanchez singing the national anthems! That girl can sing her ass off.
I like Manny Pacquiao by KO in round 8 or 9. Rios brings a gritty street style that will cause problems early on, but Pacquiao will begin to pick him apart in the middle rounds and take it to him. It’s been a year since we last saw Pacquiao, and he will be ready to re-claim his throne as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world.
10:35 I just saw a replay of the amazing one-punch Pacquiao knockout of Ricky Hatton. He was on top of the world back then. I wish we could have seen a fight with Mayweather then. To quote Al Pacino’s Tony Montana – “Politics…”
10:38 Pacquiao’s headband is the money!
10:43 Outstanding first round from Pacquiao. He is flinging those jabs and connecting at will. This could get nasty quick. Rios needs to stop smiling and focus.
10:48 Man, Manny hasn’t lost anything. His combos are ferocious and the speed is just fantastic. Pacquiao looks like he wants to make a statement with a big KO, and he just might get in the next round or two. Wow.
10:51 Rios is looking better. He is using his size and he can do some damage by backing up Pacquiao into the corner. However, he needs to keep punching and make it street.
10:55 I don’t like George Foreman’s statements. He seems to think Pacquiao should be having fun and enjoy what he’s doing, but this is a new fighter. He’s on a mission. Let him work.
10:59 Rios is in danger of becoming just another fighter who hangs around. Yes, that’s something to be proud of, but if he wants to win there must be a new game plan or a dedication to throwing punches. He got tagged big-time this last round, but now he needs to go all-in. Fight, Rios, fight.
11:04 Rios is a tough MFer and he is fighting. I love it. He keeps getting tagged but proving that he won’t be just another schmuck. I feel he will have a big surge this next round and attack Manny in the corner.
11:08 Rios had some moments, but he now has to go Raging Bull on Pacquiao’s punch. Obviously, you don’t want to get seriously hurt, but he needs to throw some huge punches now. Safe, but more aggressive.
11:12 I can’t imagine how frustrating it must be to face Pacquiao in the middle rounds. There is hope, then brief moments of glory but ultimately the majority of fighters realize they are just not good enough. Pacquiao is spectacular. We need to see a fight with Mayweather Jr.
11:16 Rios is punching but he’s not PUNCHING. It now appears that this will go 12 unless Pacquiao can really get nasty. The last few rounds will likely be quite boring with Rios surviving and Pacquiao showing off.
11:20 It’s stick and move time for Pacquiao now. I like Max Kellerman’s analogy that she is more of the fighter than Freddie Roach transformed as opposed to King of the World Pacquiao. His power can’t quite get to Rios.
11:24 Impressive round for Rios. He’s clearly not concerned about Pacquiao’s power and is looking for a clean shot. I like like his toughness and he has a chance to end this fight on good note.
11:28 Round 12 was all Manny. Pure Pacquiao. That was a thorough beatdown during each and every round. 120-108, 119-109 and 118-110. Manny Pacquiao’s first win in two years. Welcome back, Pacman.
What did you think of the fight? What’s next for Manny?
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