Rios is a guy who isn’t hard to find and has a straight-forward style that is reminiscent of Antonio Margarito, who Pacquiao defeated a couple of years ago at Cowboys Stadium. Alvarado, who has split two bouts with Rios, is a taller fighter who employs a bit more movement. These factors led to Rios landing the gig. “Style-wise, yes,” confirmed Koncz. “For the more entertaining fight for the fans, Manny chose Rios because of the styles.”
Pacquiao-Rios comes about after deals with both men who notched victories over the Filipino icon last year could not be struck. Now, Tim Bradley and Marquez are scheduled to go against each other on September 14th in Las Vegas.
“We made what we felt were reasonable offers. They demanded much more. We weren’t going to be held hostage. I think that Manny is still the draw and we tried to be fair and reasonable with them. So when they decided not to, we went to our next best option,” said Koncz, who added, “I don’t even know if we want to cut a deal with Bradley and Marquez. We’re not chasing anybody. They had the opportunity now. So I don’t believe they’re going to be in our future plans. We’d have to sit down and talk to Manny about that.”
The reason this fight is taking place overseas is that Pacquiao simply doesn’t want to pay taxes that come with his fights in America. There is a chance that the final stages of his career could be held exclusively in Asia.
“I don’t want to say that. We’ll have to see how it goes in Macau,” said Koncz, “but I think it’s going to be very successful and if it’s as successful as [Top Rank Founder and CEO] Bob [Arum] and I think we perhaps may not see Manny [in the United States] for some time. I don’t want to say ever but for some time.”
Arum admits that staging a major pay-per-view card overseas can be a logistical headache. He’s been honest in stating that by having this card in Asia, there will be a significant loss of pay-per-view purchases and the reality is you simply won’t have nearly as many American media members in attendance in Macao as you would have in Las Vegas.
But they are trying to rectify this issue.
“We’re making arrangements with an airline that we’re giving them sponsorship and they are giving us tickets - because they want to fill their seats anyways - for credentialed media at a very affordable price,” explained the veteran promoter whose company, Top Rank, has firmly planted its flag in China.
Koncz announced, “We don’t have the exact dates yet but what we’re planning on doing is an extensive five-city tour in China and then we’ll do New York and Los Angeles and then when we’re in L.A., we’ll stay there for one week so the media has an opportunity to be with Manny.”
Early on, the reaction on platforms like Twitter is very positive to Pacquiao-Rios, which to me shows that if you put together good, solid, match-ups, the public will respond. And when you’re an entity like Pacquiao, the bandwagon doesn’t just suddenly empty out with a devastating loss.
It doesn’t seem to matter that one boxer is coming in off a two-fight losing streak (at least on paper. Much of the public believes Pacquiao defeated Tim Bradley last June) and Rios dropped his return bout to Alvarado. They know this mixture is bound to provide fireworks, no matter where it is held.
The intrigue here is with Pacquiao. Just what type of psychological and physical effects will there be from his KO at the hands of Marquez? It’ll be interesting to see how he reacts to the heavy hands of Rios and his steady pressure.
This could either mark the beginning of the end of Pacquiao’s story or start a new chapter.
As for Alvarado and his future, Arum said, “We’ll put him on HBO sometime this fall.” He added that a fight with Ruslan Provodnikov in Denver was “a possibility.”
This would certainly be a fantastic fight.
But later on, Henry Delgado, who manages Alvarado, told Maxboxing that his fighters right hand, which had a procedure done on it shortly after the second bout with Rios, was still giving him problems and their return for 2013 was up in the air (but who knows? Maybe if they get a good enough offer to face Provodnikov or anyone else, perhaps Alvarado has a miraculous recovery).
Pacquiao-Rios will be a 12-round fight and contested with a 147-pound weight limit...Top Rank will also be doing a digital pay-per-view offering in China...So is Vinny Del Negro on the hot seat with the Clippers?...And does Chris Paul return?...Congrats to Vinny Testaverde on his induction to the College Football Hall of Fame but I don’t think I can ever forgive him for those stinkers at the Sugar and Fiesta Bowl...I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and I tweet at www.twitter.com/stevemaxboxing. We also have a Facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/MaxBoxing, where you can discuss our content with Maxboxing readers as well as chime in via our fully interactive article comments sections.