So continues our marathon coverage of one of the biggest fights of 2013, Manny Pacquiao vs. Brandon Rios on HBO pay-per-view on Nov. 23. Previously: a special edition of TQBR Radio; what's at stake; the undercard, previewed; the camp fight, broken down; notes from Macau; keys to the fight. Next: a final preview and prediction.
Brandon Rios knows how to have a good time. While getting hit in the face for sexual pleasure is usually reserved for members of the U.K.’s House of Lords, Rios is taking it to the masses. Too bad HBO declined to caption the moment he said “I busted a nut in the big one.” Poor deaf people, they will never know the full magic of Rios’ special brand of stupidity. The TQBR staff know it all too well, though, and we surveyed them about everything boxing and orgasm related. Well, not everything. That would be gross.
In your completely unscientific opinion, will Pacquiao have recovered from his loss to Juan Manuel Marquez?
Patrick Connor: It's difficult to say whether Pacquiao will be completely recovered or not, and we'll only know for sure when he's pegged with a good shot, but the fighters who have gone on to do well after a "put you to sleep" one-punch knockout have been more the exception than the rule. But so many other variables -- Pacquiao's age, his interest in boxing, a scrappy opponent who may or may not be smaller than him -- are clawing to the surface in the equation. If I had one word to guess, I'd say no.
Andrew Harrison: History would suggest that physically, a one punch knockout loss is less harrowing than a long and drawn out hiding. Roberto Duran, Lennox Lewis and Gene Fullmer all managed to resume their careers with only negligible effects, whereas Meldrick Taylor, David Reid and Davey Moore, alternatively, were ravaged, never to be the same again.
Pacquiao is a pretty spiritual type, I’m sure he’ll have reconciled his plight mentally and -- after his long rest -- physically, he should be ready to roll again.
Alex McClintock: Yeah, I’m almost certain he will have. The general feeling I get here in Macau is that Manny is in beast-mode. Of course you’d expect his hangers on to say that, but I’ve had outsiders and even people loosely affiliated with Rios tell me so. His punch resistance might not be quite the same as before, but I think Rios will have a really hard time catching him.
Jeff Pryor: As has been pointed out, physically it wasn't a beating; he got his shades drawn with one punch. He's never been anywhere near shutting up shop like that before and I'd be surprised if that happened again. But of course, you get punched in the head for a living, you never know... and that's a little scary. I think speed, reflexes and all of that will be just fine. If he reacts badly to punches I believe Freddie Roach is the best trainer in the world to do what’s right for the fighter’s future health.
Sam Sheppard: I agree with Andrew in terms of far too much being made of one-punch knockouts. Vic Darchinyan is a recent addition to the above list, having recovered from a devastating KO to unify the super flyweight belts and acquit himself pretty well against his conqueror, Nonito Donaire, in their rematch the other week. People are very quick to forget that Pacquiao was only a round or two away from finishing off Marquez in their last fight. Plus, you know, he tripped and fell into the final punch...
Tim Starks: My opinion is highly scientific, thank you very much, Alex, and the science says that Pacquiao should be recovered mentally (a la Andrew) and the physical is a toss-up (a la everyone else). Pacquiao has said the right things to make me believe he believes in himself, still. But even the guys who are one-punch KO victims can take some time to recover physically. I'm just all up in the air about this one.
The bookies have Pacquaio as a big favourite. Is that fair?
Patrick: In fights like this where one fighter is so much better known, I'm not sure how we can take the odds seriously. One fighter's class and capabilities are so much more obvious than the other, and those odds will probably get wider by fight time. Personally, I'm hinging my answer on what the answer to the first question is. If Pacquiao is "recovered," then no, Rios will not be particularly competitive. But if Manny isn't, a relentless, hard-charging foe with punching power will likely be competitive.
Andrew: Bookmakers’ odds are never fair these days -- those odds in today’s climate actually indicate that Rios carries some threat. One would have to fancy that Rios will be too amped to go meekly and so the Oxnard man’s fire, along with the fact that Pacquiao appeared less deadly after dispensing with Alex Ariza (who Rios has teamed up with himself, incidentally) will result in a violent brawl up until the point the Filipino lands his Suzy Q.
Alex: Rios appears to be quite good value at about 4/1, but I don’t think he has a one in four chance of winning this -- maybe closer to one in six. Pacquiao’s control of distance and his use of second and third attacks will just be way too much for Rios, and the Kansas City native is going to end up with a busted face and a referee jumping between him and Pacquiao.
Jeff: Rios is awful fun to watch fight, but he's not in Pacquiao's league in anything except spirit. I think Rios is more of a long shot than bookies have it at this point. If Pacquiao just uses speed and boxes he could coast to a wide points victory. That's not Pacquiao though, so we should see something pretty fun to watch.
Sam: I'd want much better odds than that if I was to bet on Rios. Let's not forget, regardless of the judges' scorecards, Pacquiao took Tim Bradley to school less than 18 months ago. Bradley's now a top ten pound for pound fighter who's outfoxed Marquez and beaten Ruslan Provodnikov despite being out on his feet for 11 rounds, but he was made to look ordinary last summer. People seem very keen to dismiss that. Brandon Rios is as tough as they come, but he's no pound-for-pounder. I fear Bam Bam is poised, both through Pacquiao's speed and his own relentless pressure, to be this decade's David Diaz.
Tim: The odds are right for making people bet. Were I a betting man, I'd be tempted to bet on those odds.
Bonus question: Brandon Rios says boxing is his orgasm. What's your orgasm that's not your orgasm?
Patrick: Boxing history. Surprise. It's actually quite sickening how much of my life I spend on boxing in one way or another, but researching and digging through ancient Jack Cuddy, Fair Play, Tad Dorgan, Ed Schuyler and Damon Runyon manuscripts flips my skirt.
Andrew: It seems creepily inappropriate to put the words “my little boy” and “orgasm” in the same sentence -- so I won’t. There really isn’t any way to answer that question without sounding like a douchebag and so I’ll say… boxing. I’ll need a full pack of cigarettes after Saturday night…
Alex: Look, it’s a bit of a hard question and one that’s hard to answer without sounding like a tool, but I draw an inordinate amount of joy from the “Animals Smoking Durrys” Facebook page. Only in Australia could a page dedicated to pictures of (mostly dead) animals smoking cigarettes get over 475,000 “likes.” Go on, look at it; I challenge you not to laugh.
Jeff: My non-boxing orgasm that also isn't a legitimate orgasm would have to be walking under a window and hearing the sound of a small child playing piano. I always smile at their mistakes, knowing they'll never amount to anything.
Sam: Besides work, I really don't do a whole lot apart from watching boxing and reading. But I can't say "reading" without sounding like a total bell, so I'll say "The Best Show on WFMU." It's the funniest radio show on the planet and I listen for three hours every week. Sadly, it's ending on December 17th, so catch it while you still can!
Tim: I love boxing, both watching and (to a lesser extent) participating, but I'm from Indiana and that means basketball is in my blood. Can't say I'm very good at it. But let's say I hit a game-winner. Let's say in my regular weekend game I drop a crazy spin move or perform a reverse layup or a drop step/counter up and under move... maybe I'll daydream about it all week. Like I might daydream about an amazing knockout or boxing sequence I watched that same weekend, even.