London - Philippine boxing hero Manny Pacquiao will battle US fighter Brandon
Rios in Macau in November, organisers said Tuesday, in a match that
promoters hope will ignite Chinese interest in big-time boxing.
The bout - at the luxury Venetian Macao casino resort - will be Pacquiao's first fight outside the United States since 2006.
fight is green and go," Pacquiao's chief management adviser, Michael
Koncz, told AFP, adding the arrangements had been finalised with Top
Rank, the Las Vegas-based boxing promotion agency that handles the
Koncz, who travelled to the United States for
negotiations, said they chose Rios, 26, over fellow American fighter
Mike Alvarado because the former's style would fit Pacquiao better.
style suits Manny because Rios is willing to fight and stand right in
front of Manny," he said by phone from the United States.
"It is going to be big. It's something that has never been done in Asia. Asia is the new destination for big time boxing."
He said there was a plan to tie-up with a Chinese company so it could show the fight through smartphones to the Chinese market.
Arum, chief executive of Top Rank, had previously said he wanted to put
Chinese boxer Zou Shiming on the undercard with Pacquiao to further
spark interest in China.
Top Rank spokesman Lee Samuels echoed expectations for a head-on collision between Pacquiao and Rios.
is going to stand and fight in front of Pacquiao. Rios will not take a
backward step. Definitely he won't run," Samuels said in a telephone
call to reporters in Manila.
Rios's manager, Cameron Dunkin, also
confirmed the fight in a phone call to Manila: "Brandon is excited and
he is honoured to fight Pacquiao," he said.
For Pacquiao, 34, once
regarded as the best pound-for-pound fighter of his generation, the
Rios match will be a chance to redeem himself after two defeats.
lost his World Boxing Organization welterweight crown in June last year
to US fighter Timothy Bradley, then suffered a shock knockout defeat to
Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez in December.
achievements made him a national hero, becoming one of the highest paid
sportsmen in the world, a showbiz celebrity and, in 2010, a member of