Manny Pacquiao will return to the ring Nov. 24 to meet Brandon Rios in a welterweight bout in Macau, the eight-division world champion’s promoter said Monday.
Bob Arum told The Associated Press that Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KOs) has been focused exclusively on his political career in the Philippines since the congressman’s stunning sixth-round knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez last December. Pacquiao has lost two straight fights after a 15-bout winning streak, also dropping a much-disputed decision to Timothy Bradley last summer.
Although Marquez left him face-down on the canvas in his last bout, the 34-year-old Pacquiao chose Rios (31-1-1, 23 KOs) to be his next opponent because of the former lightweight champion’s hard-hitting, crowd-pleasing style. Pacquiao’s camp has also claimed Marquez and Bradley both turned down potential rematches with Pacquiao to fight each other Sept. 14 in Las Vegas.
Pacquiao’s choice for his fight’s location is just as intriguing as his choice of opponent. Pacquiao, who hasn’t fought outside the United States since July 2006, will fight in the CotaiArena at Macau’s Venetian Resort Hotel in an attempt to appeal to the nascent Chinese pay-per-view market.
Arum said Pacquiao hopes to improve the overall popularity of boxing in Asia – while also reaping the significant tax benefits of fighting outside the U.S. His fight will be held on a Sunday morning in Macau to keep the Saturday night pay-per-view audience in North America.
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