Pacquiao is set to make his China debut versus the young and ready Brandon Rios. Youth vs experience will be put to battle.
The agonizing defeat that befell Pacquiao with the blast of Juan Manuel Marquez’s fist on his jaw last December sent shivers down the spine of the boxing world.
Today in the New York leg of a global promotional tour for the upcoming bout in Macau China, Pacquiao acknowledged how he understood many people didn’t expect him to return. I was in attendance for BSO and witnessed for myself, an all too relaxed Pacman as he met with the media on Tuesday.
I asked him what it meant to fight in Asia, a market which houses his most devoted fans and his own countrymen. Unsurprisingly he was thrilled at the prospect of being in Asia, on the big stage that is China–a country with over 1 billion citizens and in the same time zone as his Philippines homeland.
The opponent Pacquiao will go against is the 27-year-old Brandon ‘Bam Bam’ Rios (31-1-1, 22 KOs) he stands almost 3 inches taller than Pacman and appears to be having far too much fun anticipating such a big fight (which garnered him a $3 million guaranteed purse) to even be worried about his opponent.
What we can expect leading up to the November 23 ‘Clash in Cotai’ is the following, an HBO 24/7 special giving the future spectators the opportunity to see Pacman’s road to redemption and to meet Brandon Rios. Also, the trip across the world will move to Los Angeles on Thursday.
The Chinese market is one boxing is looking to penetrate into, no better place than Macau–which boasts the the world’s most lucrative gambling market. The fight will take place in the expansive Venetian Macao Hotel, in the Cotai arena which comfortably seats 15,000. Bob Arum is touting this fight as the official christening of what will be a wave of boxing to hit Asia in the near future.
HBO Pay-per-view will broadcast the fight for those not lucky enough to hop on a plane to China and see it live. All eyes will be glued to the screen November 23rd to see if Pacquiao’s best days are officially behind him versus Brandon Rios.