Manny "Pac-Man" Pacquiao just dismantled Brandon "Bam Bam" Rios in a unanimous decision, and it appears as if Pac-Man is more than ready to challenge Floyd "Money" Mayweather in the mega-fight that everyone has been waiting for.
The chances of a bout between boxing's two biggest stars isn't as improbable as it has been in the past. Promoter Bob Arum gave an interview on Australia's 1116 SEN Radio on November 3, and he addressed the possibility of the fight occurring (via BoxingScene).
"If Manny demonstrates that he's back and there's a public outcry, we should be able to get it done," Arum said.
After a unanimous decision against a much younger and much more powerful fighter in Rios, Pacquiao appears to be back. Sure, he had lost his previous two fights to Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez, but his fight against Rios was the epitome of how Pacquiao needs to fight.
Pacquiao used his blinding speed and elusiveness to frustrate Rios throughout the entirety of the bout. When Rios geared up to deliver a big blow, Pacquiao bounced around and used his outstanding footwork to ruin Rios' angles. Delivering powerful blows with poor results eventually began to tire out Rios, and Pacquiao was able to counter and take advantage.
His circling strategy that prevented Rios from squaring him up also worked in his favor on the attack. Rios wasn't always able to keep up with Pac-Man's movements, and this made blocking or countering his punches very difficult.
In a potential fight against Mayweather, Pacquiao will have to employ this exact same strategy—though he'll need to be perfect if he wants to win.
One of the biggest parts of Pacquiao's game is his speed, but that is essentially neutralized against Mayweather. Money is just as fast—if not faster than Pac-Man—and that means it could very well come down to the fighter whose footwork keeps him most balanced.
That being said, this strategy—if executed perfectly—would give Pac-Man a chance against Money. Mayweather is undoubtedly the best fighter in the sport. He routinely dominates his opponents, and facing Pacquiao at this point in his career would represent a great test.
There were serious questions about this fight ever happening prior to Pac-Man's domination of Rios, and rightfully so. Mayweather certainly didn't want to fight a boxer in the twilight of his career—even a career as storied as Pacquiao's—and his two previous matches would have suggested that Pac-Man's career was nearly over.
Now, Pacquiao appears ready to take on Mayweather. Whether or not he's currently in a position to beat Money is a different story, but there hasn't been a better time for this fight to happen in the past three years or so.
Now is the perfect time for the mega-fight to happen, and you can be sure that it would be a fight for the ages.