Trainer Freddie Roach admits that if Manny Pacquiao gets knocked out by Brandon Rios on November 23 in Macau, Manny is probably done in the boxing world, and Roach says he'll tell the fighter to hang up the gloves if he's stopped, noting that he and Pacquiao have had this agreement for years.
"It's over, 100 percent [if Pacquiao is knocked out by Rios]," Roach said. "We have a deal. When I tell him it's over, he'll say it's over and that's it. He's pretty loyal with his words and if that happens, it will be the end."
Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KO) has taken a fight that on paper presents a good scenario for him -- Rios is totally untested at 147 pounds, just lost his last fight to Mike Alvarado, and he's a very simple fighter to prepare for as a come-forward, iron-chinned brawler.
Pacquiao dealt with a similar fighter in Antonio Margarito back in 2010, and with all due respect to Rios, Margarito was bigger, stronger, and even harder to hurt. Pacquiao also fought Margarito at a 150-pound catchweight, giving up a lot more weight than will likely be the case in November.
That said, that was 2010, and this is 2013. A lot changes in three years in boxing, and since beating Margarito, Pacquiao has gone 2-2, beating Shane Mosley and Juan Manuel Marquez (controversially), and losing to Timothy Bradley (controversially) and Marquez. I don't think there's any real question that Pacquiao was better in 2010 than he is now. The question is, is Rios good enough to take advantage of a declining Manny?
Can Rios stop Pacquiao? And if Manny loses, should he go ahead and retire?