MANNY Pacquiao will have an American opponent for his long awaited ring return six months from now.
And he's not named Timothy Bradley.
Young, cocky, and dangerous Brandon `Bam Bam' Rios gets the biggest fight of his life as he battles the legendary boxing superstar from the Philippines in a 12-round match pencilled for Nov. 24 (Manila time) at the Venetian Resort Hotel in Macau.
Both fighters already agreed to the terms of the match - to be fought at the welterweight limit of 147 lbs - although contracts have yet to be finalized, according to an ESPN report.
For a while Bradley and Marquez – both of whom inflicted successive beating against the Pacman – were considered as possible opponents for the Filipino great, only for the choice to narrow down later between Rios and Mike Alvarado after Bradley and Marquez decided to fight each other this September.
Eventually, Rios won the latest Pacquiao sweepstakes.
“People know what Rios brings to the table,” said Top Rank Promoter Bob Arum of the 27-year-old American and native of Lubbock, Texas. "People want to see a real fight and that is what you get with Rios."
Rios is a former World Boxing Association lightweight champion who has a record of 31-1-1 with 23 KOs. He belonged to the boxing stable of former world champion Robert Garcia, the same man who trains Filipino Nonito Donaire Jr.
Like Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KOs), Rios is coming off a loss, absorbing a 12-round unanimous decision against Alvarado in an epic action-packed rematch last March that replicated their first meeting October of 2012.
The fight will be held Sunday morning of the 24th as it will be aired live on HBO Pay-Per-View Saturday night in the U.S.
Arum decided to bring the boxing card in Macau following a successful promotion it had in the administrative region of China last month topbilled by the pro debut of two-time Chinese Olympic gold medalist Zou Shiming and Filipino Brian Viloria.