NEW YORK (November 11, 2013) — If Horace Greeley were a boxing promoter today he would undoubtedly be espousing, “Go East, young man.” And in boxing’s biggest demonstration of Manifist Destiny, Fighter of the Decade Congressman MANNY “Pacman” PACQUIAO and former world champion BRANDON “Bam Bam” RIOS will battle each other in a 12-round welterweight rumble, Saturday, November 23, from The Venetian® Macao’s CotaiArena™, in Macao, China. Promoted by Top Rank® and Sands China Ltd., in association with MP Promotions, Tecate, Warner Bros. Pictures “Grudge Match” and Eva Airlines, Pacquiao vs. Rios will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View, beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT.
Remaining tickets, priced from $1,275 to $115, and various ticket-hotel packages at Sands China’s Cotai Strip Resorts Macao, are now on sale and can be purchased online at www.venetianmacao.com/manny. U.S.-based fans may also order via a special toll-free number: 1-855-234-4410.
The Pacquiao – Rios promotion began with a 23,722-mile international media tour, which started on July 27 in Macao, and stopped off in Beijing, Shanghai and Singapore, before moving to the U.S, with a day-long visit at the Bristol, Conn. headquarters of ESPN, followed by press conferences in New York and Los Angeles.
For Pacquiao, this marks the pound-for-pound box office monarch’s first fight outside the U.S. since his 12-round super featherweight unanimous decision victory over former world champion Oscar Larios in 2006, which took place in the Philippines. Rios’ only fights outside the U.S. were in México where he won a 10-round split decision over Ricardo Dominguez. and scored a second-round knockout of Daniel Valenzuela, in 2008 and 2009, respectively.
“Brandon Rios is the biggest test out there for me and I will be ready to meet the challenge,” said Pacquiao. “I have heard what Brandon has been saying. If he fights as well as he boasts it will be a great fight for us and the fans.”
“Out with the old, in with the new . . . and I’m the new! Manny, this is my time,” said Rios.
“Big time boxing is being firmly established in China with a Manny Pacquiao vs. Brandon Rios showdown at The Venetian Macao,” said Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum. “It is fitting that Asia’s most famous fighter will box in a big event in Macao. All fight fans are looking forward to an exciting bout between Manny against super fan-friendly Brandon Rios with his exciting, never quit style.”
“This historic matchup between Manny Pacquiao and Brandon Rios is going to be spectacular,” said Edward Tracy, President and Chief Executive Officer, Sands China Ltd. “It’s the latest example of the edge-of-your seat, high-octane event that Sands China is known for. It’s all part of our multi-tiered entertainment strategy of bringing the world’s biggest superstars of sport to Macao to display their skills at these must-see events.”
“Manny Pacquiao versus Brandon Rios is a terrific stylistic matchup that fight fans are going to be enormously excited about,” said Mark Taffet, senior vice president, HBO Pay-Per-View. “In addition to so much being on the line in this fight we have the compelling backstory of the event taking place at a glamorous international destination that will generate even more interest in the fight and establish that Saturday, Nov. 23 is going to be an extraordinary, can’t miss night in boxing history.”
Trained by Hall of Famer Freddie Roach, Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KOs), the lone congressional representative from the Sarangani province in the Philippines (he was reelected to a second term, running unopposed this year), is the only fighter to win eight world titles in as many different weight divisions. A three-time Fighter of the Year and the Boxing Writers Association of America’s “Fighter of the Decade,” Pacquiao’s resumé features victories over future Hall of Famers, including Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley and Juan Manuel Márquez. From 2008 to 2010, five of his seven victories were world title victories in five different weight classes, where he dethroned super featherweight champion Márquez, lightweight champion David Diaz, junior welterweight champion Hatton, welterweight champion Cotto, and he annihilated three-time world champion Antonio Margarito for the vacant super welterweight title. Pacquiao’s seven-year, 15-bout winning streak came to an end on June 9, 2012, when he lost his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight crown to undefeated WBO junior welterweight champion Timothy Bradley, Jr. via a controversial split decision. That was followed by a knockout loss to professional nemesis Márquez last December 8 — a fight Pacquiao was winning before he got careless trying to close the show and instead was stopped by the knockout punch of the year. No active boxer has sold more live tickets in the U.S. than Pacquiao, who has generated more than 11 million pay-per-view buys in the U.S.
Rios (31-1-1, 22 KOs), the former World Boxing Association (WBA) lightweight champion, from Oxnard, Calif., is on the hunt for his second world title in as many weight divisions. He enters this fight having won 11 of his previous 14 fights by knockout. One of boxing’s most exciting fighters, Rios is known for his all-action fan-friendly fighting style. His trainer, former International Boxing Federation (IBF) junior lightweight champion and 2012 Trainer of the Year Robert Garcia, calls it a “throwback” style with a warrior’s mentality that screams excitement. Highlight knockout victories on Rios’ resume include Miguel Acosta, Anthony Peterson, Urbano Antillon, John Murray and Mike Alvarado. Alvarado, the natural 140-pounder, entered that fight as the undefeated WBO No. 1 junior welterweight contender. Many consider it 2012’s Fight of the Year. In their exciting rematch, which took place on March 30, Rios lost a close decision for the vacant WBO interim junior welterweight title. It is considered the leading contender for the 2013 Fight of the Year. Rios enters this fight world-rated as the No. 1 contender.
The five-bout pay-per-view telecast will also feature undefeated IBF featherweight champion EVGENY GRADOVICH (17-0, 8 KOs), of Ingrim, Russia, defending his title in a rematch against the man he dethroned, BILLY DIB (36-2, 21 KOs), of Sydney Australia; No. 6-world rated contender ANDY RUIZ, Jr. (20-0, 14 KOs), of Mexiali, Mexico and TOR HAMER (21-2, 14 KOs), of New York will battle for the WBO Inter-Continental and NABF heavyweight titles; two-time Olympic gold medalist and Chinese icon ZOU SHIMING (2-0) of Guizhou, China, continues his march toward a world title when he faces undefeated JUAN TOSCANO (4-0, 1 KO), of Ensenada, Mexico. The live pay-per-view telecast will open with undefeated 2012 Puerto Rican Olympian FELIX VERDEJO (8-0, 6 KOs), of San Juan, in a six-round junior lightweight fight against DUANAAYMUKDAHAN PETCHSAMUTHR (8-1, 1 KO), of Bangkok, Thailand.
For fight updates go to www.toprank.com or www.hbo.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/trboxing, facebook.com/trboxeo or facebook.com/hboboxing and on Twitter at twitter.com/trboxing, twitter.com/trboxeo or twitter.com/hboboxing. Use the Hashtag #PacRios to join the conversation on Twitter.
The Pacquiao vs. Rios telecast, which begins at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT, will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View and will be available to more than 92 million pay-per-view homes. The telecast will be available in HD-TV for those viewers who can receive HD. HBO Pay-Per-View, a division of Home Box Office, Inc., is the leading supplier of event programming to the pay-per-view industry.
HBO Sports’ groundbreaking “24/7” reality franchise, which has captured 17 Sports Emmy® Awards, is providing an all-access pass to Pacquiao vs. Rios. Episodes two and three of “24/7 Pacquiao/Rios” premiere in prime time Saturday, Nov. 16 (9:30 p.m.) and Thursday, Nov. 21 (10:00 p.m.), just two days before the welterweight showdown.
Entertainment at Sands China Ltd. Properties
Sands China Ltd. has as a clear vision to establish Macao as Asia’s top entertainment destination.
The 15,000-seat Cotai Arena is the only venue in Asia ranked in Pollstar’s Top 100 Worldwide Arena Venues based on ticket sales. It is the top entertainment destination in southern China, hosting the world’s and the region’s biggest names in music, sports and awards shows. Superstars frequently choose the venue as the starting point of their Asian tours.
The 1800-seat, multi-purpose Venetian Theatre is one of the most luxurious entertainment venues in greater China. Featuring ushers in black-tie, champagne service, gourmet food and beverage items and other unique, premium amenities, it offers an intimate, luxurious and exclusive venue experience. The Venetian Theatre is playing a key role in bringing the best in international and Chinese entertainment to Macao, with a luxury theatre experience like no other in the region.
The 650-seat Sands Macao Hotel theatre regularly features internationally-renowned singers, performers and artists of the highest calibre. From traditional Chinese-costumed dancers to modern performances, and from singing troupes to contemporary bands, everything from Western rock to Cantonese pop is covered.
With an unbeatable diversity, the entertainment offering of Sands China Ltd. is ushering in a new era of entertainment in Macao.
About The Venetian® Macao-Resort-Hotel
Opened in 2007, The Venetian® Macao-Resort-Hotel is Macao’s first integrated resort featuring stunning replicas of the famous canals and architectural icons of Venice, Italy. The Venetian Macao features 3,000 suites, 1.2 million square feet (111,000 square metres) of convention and meeting facilities as well as a 15,000-seat Cotai Arena designed for world-class sports events and electrifying entertainment. The Venetian Macao is also home to the unique, 1,800-seat luxury Venetian Theatre, hosting the best in international and Chinese entertainment; more than 30 renowned restaurants; MALO CLINIC Health & Wellness; the incredibly fun QUBE indoor playground and more than 300 retailers at Shoppes at Venetian. Outdoor recreation areas include swimming pools and cabanas and a mini-golf course.
For more information, please visit www.venetianmacao.com.
About Cotai Strip Resorts Macao – Macao’s Integrated Resort City
Sands China Ltd. is the leading developer, owner and operator of integrated resorts in Macao. The befittingly named Cotai Strip Resorts Macao, situated on reclaimed land between the islands of Coloane and Taipa, is the one destination that provides a stunning array of experiences at the heart of Cotai. Cotai Strip Resorts Macao has transformed a gaming-centric day-trip market into an integrated resort city and international hub for business and leisure travellers.
Pulsating with life, both night and day, Cotai Strip Resorts Macao features an expansive offering of affordable luxury available nowhere else in Macao, with approximately 9,000 hotel rooms and suites, international superstar live entertainment, duty-free shopping with 600 retailers offering an unparalleled array of name brands, 1.3 million square feet (120,000 square metres) of meeting and exhibition space for Asia’s leading conferences and exhibitions, gaming excitement, transportation offerings and well over 100 dining options, including international restaurants, bars and lounges. Cotai Strip Resorts Macao is a must-see destination providing every guest with an unforgettable experience and unparalleled excitement.
Comprised of the The Venetian® Macao-Resort-Hotel; The Plaza™ Macao, featuring the Four Seasons Hotel Macao; and Sands® Cotai Central, featuring the world’s largest Conrad, Sheraton, and Holiday Inn hotels, Cotai Strip Resorts Macao is where Asia’s ultimate destination is all within reach.
Cotai Strip Resorts Macao….truly Macao Starts Here™. For more information, please visit http://en.cotaistrip.com/.