Manny Pacquiao
Manny Pacquiao and Brandon Rios will fight for the vacant WBO welterweight title. [Reuters]

Manny Pacquiao looks to get his career back on track when he faces Brandon Rios on 23 November at the Cotal Arena in Macau, China.

Where to Watch Live

The fight can be seen live on subscription channel BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch 546) from 1.30am BST on Sunday 24 November. BoxNation will donate £2 from every new subscription this week to the Disasters Emergency Committee's appeal for victims of Super Typhoon Haiyan.


Pacquiao enters this contest on the back of a brutal knockout at the hands of Juan Manuel Marquez in December 2012. It was his second consecutive defeat after a controversial points loss to Timothy Bradley and led to talk that he should walk away from the sport some 18 years after his professional debut back in January 1995.

Some believe the Filipino legend has lost his sharpness and even his own trainer, Freddie Roach, has stated that an underwhelming performance against Rios would lead him to advise Pacquiao to walk away from the fight game.

But the 34-year-old truly believes that he can still be a major force in a hugely competitive welterweight division and will undoubtedly still dream of a showdown with long-time rival Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Roach has stated that Pacquiao still has the "hunger" to be a champion and has even predicted that Rios will not be able to make it past the fourth round.

Pacquaio's opponent is also entering the ring on the back of a loss, the first of his career, in what was a fight-of-the-year contender against Mike Alvarado. The 27-yearo-old's aggressive, come-forward, style makes him an exciting fighter to watch and he earned plenty of fans despite losing to his fellow American in March.

Rios has never shared a ring with a fighter on the same level as Pacquiao but he is confident that he will be able to wear down his naturally smaller opponent. The California resident boasts an impressive 70% knockout ratio and believes he has witnessed a severe decline in Pacquiao's skills.

The build-up to the fight has however been as much about the trainers as it has been the fighters. Roach has consistently clashed with Robert Garcia, with the pair almost coming to blows just days ago in front of the world's press.

Roach was accused of making racial slurs against the Rios camp who responded nastily when Alex Ariza, who is the former conditioning coach of Pacquiao and now works with Rios, aimed a kick at the trainer and mocked the fact that he suffers from Parkinson's.

All the spice has led to a hugely anticipated bout that will either reaffirm Pacquaio's status as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, or will prove that Rios is a genuine threat to the best welterweights in the world.


While the memory of Pacquiao lying flat out after being caught by a vicious shot from Marquez still looms large in the memory there can be little doubt that he has the far more impressive resume and should overcome Rios. The eight-division world champion still looked sharp in his last fight and should have the power to stop his younger opponent.

Rios is a pressure fighter and may well struggle when Pacquiao manages to find his timing as he will be walking onto shots. While he may cause the Filipino problems in the early few rounds, constant punishment will take its toll and a stoppage in the second half of the fight may well be there for the taking.

Pacquiao to win by TKO in the 8<sup>th round.