by Rick Reeno
IBF light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins was shocked when BoxingScene.com informed him that eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38KOs) would return to the ring against Brandon Rios (31-1-1, 23KOs).
A deal for Pacquiao-Rios was announced on Monday. The fight takes place on November 23rd at the Venetian in Macau, China. HBO Pay-Per-View will carry the event.
Hopkins believes Pacquiao is a finished product and will never be the same after suffering a brutal knockout in the sixth round of his fourth fight with Juan Manuel Marquez last December.
In the opinion of Hopkins, Pacquiao should not be facing a big puncher in his first fight back.
"A B-level fighter might knock him out next time," Hopkins told BoxingScene.com.
"Brandon can punch. Are you serious? They are brave as hell. Listen, if Pacquiao fights this fight after getting knocked out like that - I have to take my hat off to him because that's a brave move. It's a not a good business move, but that's a brave move. But I guess they want to come back so quick to show that he's okay, but to me that's even worse."