Manny Pacquiao vs Brandon Rios will take place on Saturday night in a massive fight match up for both fighters who are both desperately trying to remain relevant in the world of boxing following recent losses. The fight is scheduled to start at 9 p.m. ET with an undercard and red carpet event starting from 7 p.m. ET.
Pacquiao has suffered two straight defeats for the first time in his career, and a third tonight would probably end his career in most people's eyes. Simply put this is a must-win for the popular Pacquiao.
In the first of his two most recent defeats, Pacquiao was stripped of his WBO welterweight title via a controversial judges' decision in favor of Timothy Bradley. No-one else in the world of boxing had Bradley ahead in that match, and many write off that loss as nothing more than a loss in name only.
However, he was knocked out cold in his last fight against long time rival Juan Manuel Marquez, and that has led many to question whether Pacquiao has enough left to fight at the absolute top of the sport as he winds down towards the curtains on his career.
Meanwhile, Rios lost for the first time in his career in his last fight, and he will want to bounce back immediately to defeat Pacquaio to claim the vacant WBO international welterweight title.
Rios's near-undefeated record is impressive, but it would be fair to say that he has not fought anyone in the class of Pacquiao so far in his career. Most of his past opponents probably wouldn't survive a round or two with Pacquiao.
Rios will be quick to point out that he had previously defeated Mike Alvarado just six months before losing to him in a unanimous points decision.
Boxing fans will be delighted with this match up though; Pacquiao is notoriously exciting to watch, and in Rios he has an opponent also who is reliably an exciting fighter, who is willing to stand toe to toe and slug it out.
Rios' two fights with Mike Alvarado have been Fight of the Year contenders, and for anyone who watched those bouts, they will be licking their licks at the potential tonight's match with Pacquiao holds.
Fight fans will know that Pacquiao has not stopped an opponent since Miguel Cotto in 2009, and that has led some to question whether he still has the power he once had. However, no one can deny that Pacquiao still has the power to hurt opponents, and he has the speed to do so regularly, although at 147 he might not have the stopping power he had at lower weights.
Manny Pacquiao vs Brandon Rios will start at 9 p.m. ET and can be watched on PPV.