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Manny Pacquiao | Next Fight Against Brandon Rios or Robert Guerrero?

Lee Cleveland Updated
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Manny Pacquiao's trainer, Freddie Roach, told FightHubTV Manny Pacquiao vs Brandon Rios would be "compelling." Over the weekend, PacMan's arch-rival, Juan Manuel Marquez, stated he wasn't interested in fighting the Filipino superstar a fifth time.

Marquez told Boxingscene.com's Miguel Rivera:

"I think for me there is no point [in a fifth fight]. We already achieved the desired result. Then why do it? So I also asked several people, several friends that I have around me and they told me not to do it, that there is no point in a fifth fight."

Regardless of what Marquez is saying, Pacquiao vs Marquez 5 is likely to happen - But they may not be each other's next opponent.

So who's next for Manny if not Marquez?

Two possible opponents are Brandon Rios (31-0, 23 KO) and Robert Guerrero (31-1-1, 18 KO) with the former being the most likely.

In his recent interview with Fight HubTV, Roach complimented Guerrero and, without directly confirming it, seemingly dismissed the prospects of Pacquiao vs Guerrero anytime soon.

The 30 year old Guerrero, who is in negotiations to fight Floyd Mayweather in May, is a tall fighter with a lot of experience. But like Timothy Bradley, Guerrero's style can make anyone look bad and he lacks name recognition. 

Who's Next for Manny Pacquiao?

pac whoisnext

Perhaps that's why Roach was hyping Brandon Rios.

Excited and enthusiastic about the possibility of Pacquiao vs Rios, Roach told Fight HubTV:

"I think (Pacquiao vs) Rios is a real compelling fight. He's action-packed. He's an aggressive young kid. He talks a lot of smack and sells tickets..."

Pacquiao vs Rios intrigues because Brandon is a charismatic, young, tough undefeated fighter with a crowd-pleasing style. And how many fighters has Pacquiao fought lately who fit all of the above criteria?

While Tim Bradley was young, undefeated and tough, he lacked the personality to generate tremendous interest and doesn't fight in a style that's appealing to the masses.

Other recent Manny Pacquiao opponents have included Shane Mosley, Juan Manuel Marquez, Antonio Margarito and the very defensive-minded Joshua Clottey.

In fact, Manny hasn't fought a tough, young, crowd-pleasing thoroughbred in years.

The 26 year old Brandon Rios only knows one way to fight - Pressure, pressure and pressure. He's tough and rugged, and will bring the fight to Manny.

"It think its a very competitive fight. I'm a little worried about that fight. Its the young versus the old," stated Freddie Roach.

"I'd rather (Manny Pacquiao) fight competitors like Brandon Rios and let him mouth-off a little bit and then shut him up."

But in order for Manny Pacquiao vs Brandon Rios to happen anytime soon, the latter must win his rematch with Mike Alvarado on March 30th - no easy task.

In their first fight last October, Rios and Alvarado fought toe-to-toe and non-stop for seven thrilling rounds in a bout many called Fight of the Year. Two of the judges had the fight scored even before referee Pat Russell stopped the fight at 1:57 of the seventh round, awarding the TKO victory to Rios.

Many compared Rios vs Alvarado to the great matches of boxing lore, including Ali-Frazier III, Corrales -Castillo I and Hagler-Hearns, based on its action and entertainment value.

His charisma, raw fighting style and youth, in addition to his undefeated record and last year's spectacular performance against Mike Alvarado, make Brandon Rios the most likely opponent for Manny Pacquiao because those attributes translate into ticket sales.

Freddie Roach, during the short interview, emphasized Brandon Rios' ability to sell tickets TWICE... and that may be all we need to know.


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