Manny Pacquiao: “I’m excited to get back into the ring.”

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Updated: August 7, 2013

The amazing Manny Pacquiao returns to HBO Pay-Per-View on Saturday, November 23, exactly one year removed from his stunning knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez in their fourth fight. But instead of returning to the bright lights of the Las Vegas stage, Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KOs) is taking his skills to China to battle rugged Mexican Brandon Rios (31-1-1, 22 KOs).

Pacquiao strongly believes that an impressive victory against Rios will elevate him toward the top of everyone’s pound-for-pound list.

“Yes! Yes!” Pacquiao said. “I need to do a lot of work for this fight. [Brandon Rios] is one of the best. It’s going to be a good fight. Brandon Rios is a warrior in the ring. He likes to fight inside. I need to win this fight. I need to win convincingly.”

“Nothing personal,” Pacquiao added.

Pacquiao may say it’s nothing personal, but this is boxing and anytime someone is preparing months in advance for a fight with you, you have to take it personal. Pacquiao is out to prove that he is still the same fighter that destroyed Ricky Hatton, Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, Antonio Margarito, David Diaz, Shane Mosley, Oscar De La Hoya, and Miguel Cotto.

The last time Pacquiao won a fight by knockout was in December 2009 when he stopped Miguel Cotto in the twelfth round. Fights against Margarito, Mosley, and Joshua Clottey were won by decision. Pacquiao hasn’t won about since his controversial 12-round majority decision in his third fight against Marquez in November 2011. Pacquiao lost a disputed 12-round decision to WBO welterweight titlist Timothy Bradley in June 2012 before Marquez knocked him out in their fourth bout.

Pacquiao was on the verge of proving to everyone that he was back against Marquez, but got caught with a booming right hand that might have changed the fate of Pacquiao’s career. Pacquiao says it was a lucky punch and appears eager to put that defeat to Marquez behind him.

“It was a lucky punch,”Pacquiao said. “It’s part of boxing. I’m excited to get back into the ring. I’m excited fighting in Asia; precisely in China. It’s good for me.”

Pacquiao was once regarded as the best fighter in boxing by many that follow boxing. Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather was the one fight that had the world buzzing. The talk of a Mayweather-Pacquiao showdown ended last November when Manny was KO’d in demonic fashion by Juan Manuel Marquez.

Pacquiao, 34, General Santos, Philippines, is out to prove that his boxing career isn’t finished.

“I can prove that I can still fight and that my boxing career isn’t over yet,” Pacquiao added.

Pacquiao is going to have his hands full with Brandon Rios, 27, Luock, TX. He is a relentless, all-action fighter. Rios was a former undefeated WBA lightweight champion. Rios is coming off two scintillating battles with Mike Alvarado. Rios, a close friend to Margarito, is anxious and excited for the chance to beat one of the biggest names in boxing history on a world stage.

“Margarito is my boy,” Rios said. “I love him as a brother. Margarito is older now. I’m younger and it’s my time now.”

Many people are pulling for Pacquiao to rebound from his winless streak which would have lasted almost two years, but some believe Pacquiao may be finished as a fighter.

“I’m not Manny Pacquiao,” Rios said. “I’m not him mentally or physically. A lot of fighters have comeback [from a loss] stronger,” Rios said. “It gives me the motivation to shut [critics] up again. They doubted me once and now I’m going to shut them up again.”

Tickets for “Pacquiao vs. Rios” are available by calling 8555-234-4410, and can be purchased online at www.venetianmacao.com/manny.

DiBella Entertainment and SMS Promotions Returns to B.B. Kings

Next Wednesday, August 14, at BB Kings Blues Club, DiBella Entertainment and SMS Promotions return with another action-packed fight card. ‘Broadway Boxing’ returns with New Yorker Tor Hamer (20-2, 13 KOs) against Kertson Manswell (23-7, 17 KOs) in a scheduled eight-round main event. Boyd Melson (11-1-1, 4 KOs) will rematch Jason Thompson (5-6-3, 4 KOs) in a scheduled eight-rounder. The two fought to a six-round draw in 2012.

Donte Strayhorn (2-1) challenges Justin Robbins (1-2) in a four-round junior welterweight bout. Super middleweight Lennox Allen (16-0-1, 10 KOs) and lightweight Amos Cowart (7-0, 5 KOs) will appear in separate fights. Undefeated prospects Patrick Day (4-0, 2 KOs) and Neuky Santelises (5-0, 4 KOs) will be in action. Day, who signed with DiBella earlier this year, will already be entering his fifth professional bout. Day debuted for DBE at BB Kings Blues Club and scored a one-punch knockout of Zach Kelley in the first round.

Plus, four-time NYC Golden Gloves Champion Sonya Lamonakis (7-1-2, 1 KO) fights five-time NYC Golden Gloves Champion Tanzee Daniels (4-2-1, 1 KO) in a six-round female heavyweight clash. Lamonakis and Daniels fought three times in the amateurs and twice already in the professional ranks. Daniels is 2-1 in the amateurs against Lamonakis, but lost both fights in the professional ranks.

Tickets for this event range from $55 to $125 and can be purchased by calling 212-947-2577. For more information visit www.dbe1.com or www.smsby50.com

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