According to a report published Monday by BoxingScene.com, Manny Pacquiao suffered a sprained ankle last weekend playing basketball in the Philippines.
Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KOs) is scheduled to battle Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios on November 23 at the CotaiArena in Macau.
“It’s not the first time,” said Pacquiao, 34, an eight-division titlist who was named the “Fighter of the Decade” for the 2000s. “It’s okay.”
An avid basketball player, Pacquiao last fought on December 8 when he was violently knocked onto Queer Street by rugged Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez.
Comparatively, Rios most recently suffered a unanimous decision loss to Mike Alvarado in their March rematch.
A former lightweight champ, the 26-year-old Rios (31-1-1, 23 KOs) employs controversial strength and conditioning coach Angel Hernandez.
Thankfully, considering Hernandez is in the mix, both pugilists have agreed to random drug testing by The Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA).
Granted, Pacquiao has been defeated in consecutive matches by the 39-year-old Marquez (55-6-1, 40 KOs) and Timothy Bradley.
However, in actuality, Pacquiao outclassed the 29-year-old Bradley (30-0-0-1, 12 KOs) and was battering Marquez before the juicehead landed a savage overhand right that finished the scrap at 2:59 of the sixth round.
Rios is a brawler looking to aggressively throw fists and the Texan’s style should prove ideal for Pacquiao.
Provided “The Fighting Pride of the Philippines” focuses on the squared circle and avoids the hardwood, expect Manny Pacquiao to emerge victorious within 11 rounds over an inferior Brandon Rios this autumn.
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