Rios the perfect foe for Pacquiao: Merchant

Posted at 10/18/12 7:50 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Hard-hitting fighter Brandon "Bam Bam" Rios will be a great opponent for Filipino fight king Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao, according to HBO boxing analyst Larry Merchant.

A fight between Rios and Pacquiao has been gaining support ever since Rios stopped Mike Alvarado in the seventh round of their brawl last weekend in California.

Speaking with Examiner, Merchant said the fight will make sense for Pacquiao and for fight fans as well. 

"A younger brawler against Pacquiao, I think, would be a fight everybody in boxing and people beyond boxing would like to see," he said.

"I've been saying for a while that Pacquiao needs a fighter who will come to him and fight him," Merchant added.

Despite his punching power and iron chin, Rios will still be an underdog against Pacquiao. But Merchant believes that Rios' grit and toughness will also be tough for Pacquiao to handle.

"(Rios) is the kind of young, tough guy who you might not want to see in your face all night long," he said.

"You don't get the answers until you see the fight, I'll just leave it at that. I think he'd be a great opponent for Pacquiao and vice versa," Merchant said.

Pacquiao will still have to face his greatest rival, Juan Manuel Marquez of Mexico, on Decem 8 in what will be their fourth encounter.

Rios has said, however, that he is open to fighting either Pacquiao or Marquez.

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