SAN DIEGO – November 30, 2013 – HBO will air last Saturday’s fight between Manny Pacquiao and Brandon Rios tonight in an encore broadcast at 10:15 p .m. ET as the lead-in to its live event featuring two light-heavyweight title fights from Quebec City, Quebec.
The November 23 bout at the Veneitian Macau in China delievered the return of Pacquiao to his old form after back to back defeats in 2012. Pacquiao showed speed both with his hands and his head. He never let Brandon Rios draw him into a brawl, but instead landed solid punches in bunches. No knockout blow, but that isn’t what Pacquiao needed to achieve in the fight. He made Rios look sluggish and resurrected discussiona about a Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather fight. Watch and enjoy a master class by PacMan.
Following the replay, HBO brings fans two bouts from the Colisee Pepsi in Quebec City, Quebec. Hometown favorite Adonis Stevenson faces Tony Bellew of England in a WBC light heavyweight title contest, while Sergey Kovalev takes on Ukrainian Ismayl Sillakh in another light heavyweight matchup for Kovalev’s WBC title.
HBO hopes this doubleheader will set up a bout between Stevenson and Kovalev, but their opponents get a say and could change HBO’s plans.
Stevenson (22-1, 19 KOs) is coming off two impressive victories including a stunning first round knockout of Chad Dawson in June. like to extend his reputation as a powerful puncher against Bellew (20-1-1, 12 KOs). The pair got involved in a dust-up on the scales Friday at the weigh-in, exchanging words and threatening to come to blows before they were pulled apart.
Stevenson is considered a huge favorite, but Bellew has been talking big this week about an upset. So did Brandon Rios, though. Stevenson has shown he’s capable of ending a fight with one punch at any time. To have a chance, Bellew needs to force Stevenson to box. He has height and reach on Stevenson and he needs to put it to work for him.
It’s a similar matchup between Kovalev (22-0-1, 20 KO), nicked named “Krusher,” and Sillakh (21-1, 17 KOs), “The Black Russian.” Kovalev has grabbed the boxing world’s attention with a spectacular 2013, starting with his third round TKO defeat of Gabriel Campillo in January, a win over Cornelius White, and finally by destroying Nathan Cleverly via an early fourth round knockout in June.
Cleverly handed Tony Bellew his only defeat in a decision; Bellew says he fought the entire bout with a cracked rib from training.
Sillakh is a talented fighter, relatively unknown in the U.S. He’s also enjoyed a good 2013, with four victories, three by knockout, although against lesser talents. Kovalev will be his biggest name opponent to date and his first title shot. Sillakh can punch, but like Bellew against Stevenson, Sillakh needs to box and not brawl with Kovalev or he is sure to lose.
Kovalev says he is not taking Sillakh lightly, saying he considered him plenty dangerous. This is the right attitude no matter who you’re facing. Taking an opponent for granted is sure to get you in trouble.
“Boxing After Dark” including a replay of Pacquiao vs. Rios airs tonight at 10:15 p.m. ET on HBO.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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