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Manny Pacquiao to fight Brandon Rios in November

Manny PacquiaoManny Pacquiao will face Brandon Rios on Nov. 24 (Nov. 23 in the US) in Macau, China, his adviser announced on Monday.

The fight will take place on Sunday morning in China so that it will also be on during primetime Saturday night in the US.

Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum said last month that he was deciding between Rios or Mike Alvarado as Pacquiao’s next opponent. Alvarado and Rios have fought each other in their most recent bouts. Rios won the first match in October, while Alvarado won the rematch in March.

Pacquiao’s team says they chose Rios because they believe his slugging style will lead to more of an exciting fight.

“We felt with Rios, based on his past of being an [active] competitor would make this a great fight against Manny,” Arum said, via The Los Angeles Times. “It’s a fight people want to see. Most boxing fans want to see guys mix it up.

“There’s a school of fan who want to see artistic fights with fighters like Floyd Mayweather and Guillermo Rigondeaux, but we felt they also want to see a knock-down, drag-out action fight, and that’s what we’re going to give them.”

Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, was also happy about the decision to choose Rios. He told The Times that one reason is because Pacquiao beat up Alvarado badly in a sparring session.

Roach also told Yahoo! Sports’ Kevin Iole that he’d like to see Pacquiao get “sweet revenge” on Rios. Rios, along with Antonio Margarito, mocked Roach’s speech and movements two years ago. Roach suffers from Parkinson’s Disease.

Iole has a number of great details about the fight and how it came to be, so I suggest his article for more reading. One interesting note is that the fight will be sold in pay-per-view form online and distributed by MLB Advanced Media.

Pacquiao, who is from the Philippines, will train for the fight in General Santos City. His big reason for fighting in China is to avoid the tax hit he would have from fighting in the US.

Pacquiao (54-5-2) is coming off consecutive losses. Rios (31-1-1) is coming off his first career loss.

Juan Manuel Marquez done fighting Manny Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao Juan Manuel MarquezJuan Manuel Marquez has fought Manny Pacquiao four times and gone 1-2-1 against him, including a sixth-round knockout win in December. Pacquiao was looking at facing Marquez for a fifth time in a rematch, but Marquez chose to fight Timothy Bradley instead. Now he says he’s done fighting Pac-Man.

“With Manny Pacquiao, [I'm] finished there. I don’t want to fight with Manny Pacquiao because all finished. I won the last three fights. In four fights I won. I don’t want to fight with Manny again,” Marquez told The Los Angeles Times’ Lance Pugmire in an interview.

“I repeat: I don’t want to fight with Manny again because I won the last three fights,” he told Pugmire.

Marquez and Pacquiao fought to a draw in their first bout. Pac-Man won by split decision in 2008, a controversial majority decision in 2011, and then Marquez finally scored the first decisive victory in their series with the knockout in 2012.

There was speculation that Marquez turned down a fifth fight with Pacquiao because he did not want to go to Asia where Pac-Man wanted to fight for tax purposes. But he says he wanted to fight Bradley because he’s a champ.

“I want to win another belt,” says Marquez.

The two are scheduled to meet on Sept. 14.

I have to say, I was pretty tired of Pacquiao-Marquez fights and could surely go without seeing them fight again. At 39 years old, it’s quite possible that he’ll retire soon, too.

Manny Pacquiao to face Mike Alvarado or Brandon Rios next

Manny PacquiaoManny Pacquiao is busy preparing for an election in the Philippines, but when he is done he can begin to focus on his next fight. According to his promoter Bob Arum, that fight will be against either Mike Alvarado or Brandon Rios.

Arum told the LA Times’ Lance Pugmire Tuesday that Juan Manuel Marquez will fight Timothy Bradley later in the year (they are currently aiming for a Sept. 14 date, though that could change). Marquez and Bradley deciding to fight each other took away two potential rematch options for the Filipino. After winning 15 straight fights, Pac-Man lost to Bradley and Marquez in back-to-back fights. Marquez opted to face Bradley instead of Pacquiao for a fifth time.

Marquez’s decision to fight Bradley leaves Pacquiao with two options: Alvarado or Rios. Both Alvarado and Rios are signed to Arum’s Top Rank company. They fought each other in their last two fights, with Rios winning the first slugfest last October, and Alvarado getting revenge in March. Neither fighter has fought anyone close to the caliber of Pacquiao.

According to Arum, one of the reasons Marquez turned down a fight with Pacquiao is because Pac-Man wants to fight in Asia. Marquez reportedly did not believe the pay-per-view revenue for such a fight would be as strong as one in the US. Pacquiao wants to fight in Asia for tax purposes.

Pacquiao’s election is in May. He is likely to fight in Macau in November.

Another twist to the whole saga is what is going on with the Sept. 14 date. Floyd Mayweather Jr. has long said he planned to fight that date against a to-be-determined opponent. Arum is making plans for have Marquez and Bradley to fight on that date. He thinks Mayweather may back out of the date, but he has said he will move dates if Golden Boy Promotions sticks to that date for Mayweather.

Former boxing champ Jorge Arce accuses Manny Pacquiao of using PEDs

Manny Pacquiao may be considered one of the greatest pound-for-pound fighters in boxing history, but there is a large collection of people who feel his accomplishments are illegitimate. Former boxing champ Jorge Arce is apparently among that group.

Earlier this week, Arce told Boxing Scene that he believes Pacquiao has been using some sort of substance that cannot be detected by the current drug testing system.

“Pacquiao is getting something, that’s for sure,” Arce said, via. “He never [comes up] positive [during drug tests], so it is logical that he is using something that is legal or not detectable in his urine. Because I remember when Pacquiao did not want to fight [Floyd] Mayweather, because [Mayweather] said that he wanted to have doping tests [involved in their fight] and Manny refused to have them.

“Pacman is coming from [the] flyweight [division] and walks around at welterweight. I am convinced that Manny is getting something, but it is not detectable. I’ve seen him overwhelm [fighters] who are much bigger than him.”

If he’s using something legal, then it’s legal. If Pac Man is using something that is illegal and not detectable, well, we’ll never know and there’s really nothing that can be done about it. Technology isn’t perfect.

This is not the first time Pacquiao has been accused of using performance-enhancing substances by another fighter. As we know, it has been an ongoing theme in his saga with Floyd Mayweather. While there is no proof that Pacquiao has ever used a banned substance, the speculation remains rampant.

Glove tap to Opposing Views

Manny Pacquiao reportedly planning to circumvent suspension, fight in Asia in April

manny pacquiaoSo much for a lengthy layoff to recover from his knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez in December. According to various reports, Manny Pacquiao is planning to return to the ring in April for a tune-up fight before facing Marquez for a fifth time in September.

Boxing Scene first reported on Friday that Pacquiao’s team was strongly considering an April fight in Asia. They and others say Pacquiao’s team is looking to book a fight outside the US for two reasons.

Pacquiao was initially under a 120-day suspension from the Nevada State Athletic Commission following his knockout loss to Marquez on Dec. 8, and a 90-day no contact suspension from the commission (the suspensions may have been reduced to 90/60 by a doctor). In order to begin training in time to fight in April, Pacquiao would have to find a country where the suspensions would not be enforced.

The Philippine Star also reports that Pacquiao’s manager, Michael Koncz, says they are targeting an Asian venue for “tax reasons.” The taxes in other countries might not be as high as they would be for Pacquiao to fight in the US.

“We’re not interested in the US for this fight,” Koncz told the Star.

Pacquiao’s last 14 fights have either taken place in Las Vegas or Texas. His last fight outside the US was a July 2006 bout against Oscar Larios in the Philippines.

Koncz reportedly mentioned three potential locations for the April fight to the Star — Singapore, Abu Dhabi or Macau, which is the gambling center in China.

Brandon Rios, Vyacheslav Senchenko, and Jessie Vargas have been mentioned as potential opponents. Koncz says they will focus on finding a venue before looking at opponents.

Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum, reportedly told the Manila Bulletin last week that he was interested in having Pacquiao and Marquez on the same April card, just not fighting against each other. The thinking is the card would build up to a September fight between Pacquiao and Marquez over Mexican Indepence Day weekend.

Having Pacquiao fight in April is a gross departure from what his team initially planned. Arum was so concerned about Pacquiao’s health following the knockout loss he had his fighter undergo extensive brain testing. There was talk that Pacquiao’s planned April fight date would be postponed and that he wouldn’t return until September. That’s what Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, initially said would be the best plan.

Roach still prefers for Pacquiao to wait until September before fighting.

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Doctors worried Manny Pacquiao showing early signs of Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s

According to multiple doctors in Manny Pacquiao’s home country of the Philippines, the 34-year-old fighter may be showing signs that he is developing serious health problems. Dr. Rustico Jimenez, the president of Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines, recently said he believes he has seen early signs of Parkinson’s Disease in Pacquiao in the form of hand twitching and stuttering.

“Even though his reflexes are quick, I noticed the movement – it’s just another view, my personal view – but it seems like there are early signs,” Jimenez said, via a translation from Bad Left Hook. “There are some movements that you will notice with his hands. It’s in the hands, and not the head, where you can easily see this. It twitches a little bit. Although I haven’t seen it up close, I think I am seeing that there are some signs.”

Jimenez hasn’t actually examined Pacquiao up close, but he said he can see signs in interviews. Last month, Pac-Man was knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez and one of his coaches said he didn’t know where he was when he finally came to. Pacquiao underwent extensive brain testing after the fight. Dr. Raquel Fortun, a renowned forensics expert from the Philippines, said she is not convinced everything is right with his head.

“When the brain gets shook like that, it’s very dangerous,” Fortun said. “Since it’s not truly fixed to your skull, when your brain gets shaken, there are connections that get cut off, and you get small hemorrhages.”

Of course, these are just the opinions of two doctors who have not worked very closely with Pacquiao. That being said, we already know his wife wants him to give up boxing before he does any serious damage to himself. Hearing that her husband is showing signs of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s will not help ease Jinkee’s anxiety.

UPDATE: Pacquiao issued a statement in response.

“There is nothing to be worry about. I am 100 percent healthy and right now I’m enjoying this memorable vacation with my family in this beautiful country of Israel. I will return to the Philippines on January 14 and in early February because I want to get to the gym because I want to have a fight in April and in September I want the fifth fight with Marquez.

“The statements by the doctors show a total lack of ethics and it was irresponsible. This was just personal opinion and there were no medical tests.”

That statement clearly was not written by Pacquiao. Hopefully his staff member who crafted it will hold some serious concern for the fighter’s health and overall well-being.

Justin Bieber facing ban from Philippines for mocking Manny Pacquiao

justin-bieber-floyd-mayweatherJustin Bieber reportedly is facing a ban from the Philippines for mocking Manny Pacquiao after the fighter was knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez in his most recent fight. True story.

Word of the proposed ban emerged last week when a Philippines congressional representative first made the proposition. According to ABS-CBNnews, Rep. Carol Jane Lopez not only called for Bieber to be banned, but also to have everyone in the country stop buying his music and attending his concerts.

The pop star angered many people in the Philippines by posting a few Pacquiao knocked out Internet meme photos following the boxer’s loss. One of the photos was of Simba from “The Lion King” trying to wake Pacquiao, and the other was of Pac-Man falling just like Michael Jackson doing his lean in Smooth Criminal:

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