A “redhead” Brazilian boxer who is being compared to Saul “Canelo” Alvarez could be a good match for Manny Pacquiao.
Rubens Diego dos Santos, also known as “Manchinha” (Li’l Spot), is a super bantamweight (122 pounds) fighter and an emerging star in Brazil.
According to some witnesses, dos Santos is a boxing scholar and keen in studying the matches and training sessions of his rivals, peers and champions. His role model is Mexican boxing superstar Canelo Álvarez, who coincidentally also a redhead.
Reports claim that dos Santos’ fighting style resembles his idol Canelo. According to Ozy, Manchinha also dodges to the side and inflicts a piercing right-hand hook to the liver, a lethal move in boxing which Canelo has been known for.
The 21-year-old boxing sensation currently trains with Ivan de Oliveira, a veteran trainer who has trained world champion boxer Valdemir dos Santos Pereira, in a windowless basement in the São Matheus neighborhood of São Paulo, Brazil. Despite not having the facility that world champions have, dos Santos is eager to make a name for himself.
“He (dos Santos) wants to be a world champion, unify titles, move up in weight division and make a name,” Oliveira said.
Dos Santos recalled his last year’s hard-fought victory against Argentine Pablo Jose Paz and claimed that the win over the Argentine fighter has made him feel like he is ready for bigger challenges in the future.
“After that match, I see that I climbed higher in my career and grew a lot,” dos Santos stated.
Aside from being compared to Canelo, dos Santos is also viewed to be a good match for Pacquiao. However, a fight with the eight-division title holder seems to be a long shot from where dos Santos is at this point.
This isn’t the first time a young boxer is perceived to be a great opponent for Pacquiao. Last month, his former rival Shane Mosley claimed that he’s fighter Ivan Redkach isn’t only a good fight for Pacquiao, based on his assessment, Redkach is warrior and has the knockout power of Juan Manuel Marquez.
“It could be good. Because Ivan’s a warrior and he’s ready to fight anybody. He has hard punch. I mean like, JuanMa Marquez,” Mosley said.
Until then, Pacquiao has a score to settle – the rematch with Floyd Mayweather. Hong Kong’s DEF Promotions director and promoter Jay Lau recently revealed that Mayweather is currently more interested in rematch with Pacquiao than finalizing the exhibition match deal they are working on. In simpler terms, the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao rematch could be on its way to fruition.