If super typhoon Haiyan (local name Yolanda) which hit the Philippines last November 8, 2013 reduced everything on its path to rubble, boxing’s own version of such a great force of nature will be replicated by no other than the 8 division world champion Manny Pacquiao to wreak havoc upon his much younger opponent Brandon “Bam-Bam” Rios in a few hours from now in Macau. The super typhoon that is “Pacman” will be at his fiercest version ever knowing he will have a reputation to redeem, a loss to avenge, and a mockery to punish (Rios camp insulted Pacman’s trainer Freddie Roach by imitating his impaired speech and movements due to his suffering of a Parkinson’s disease). Rios’s only chance will be determined at how prepared he was to brace against such a disaster of great magnitude. His puncher’s chance will be devoured, like all the rest that he could do against, by the eye of the storm’s unforgiving, relentless ferocity.
It will be a one-sided, brutal, carnage that will have made many boxing fanatics to feel pity, instead of thrilled, at Rios. The fight, of course, will be finished within six rounds. Or, if Pacquiao pushes on to put more pressure early, will be shorter than imagined. Rios will be there, tailor-made for Pacquiao, to serve as a standing target for the Pacman whirlwind. “I’m praying for him,” said Pacquiao about Rios in an interview. The Pacman will be at his best transformed beast ever, for sure, when the bell rings.
I’m worried for Rios’s health but I hope he won’t get hospitalized as a result of that fight. I hope he will be just okay after having absorbed the Pacman’s wrath poured down on him. Like Pacquiao, he has a family to wait for him back home: A caring wife, beautiful kids, parents, siblings, close relatives, and friends.
But Rios is tough. And we will come to see a new form of toughness to sprout upon him, not the physically-sourced toughness we usually see him about. He may be flattened like Tacloban in that fight, but he will rise back from the ruins and face every opponent with much confidence knowing he has already faced and survived the worst.