By Salvador Rodriguez
Robert Garcia, trainer of Brandon Rios, has noticed a physical decline in eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao. Rios challenges Pacquiao on November 23rd in Macau, China. Garcia trained Antonio Margarito for his 2010 clash with Pacquiao, which took place at a catch-weight of 150-pounds. Margarito took a bad beating in the fight and lost a lopsided twelve round decision. During the fight, Margarito suffered a bad orbital bone injury and it led to his career coming to close.
"We're going to prepare for the best Pacquiao, that same one from four years ago, that's the Pacquiao that we are going to prepare for. [But] there are little things that I've been noticing in his last two or three fights... he does not have the same strength and his legs are suffering from cramps.........[possibly the affects of] age, punishment in the gym. There are things that nobody can hide. It happen to athletes, boxers and there is nothing you can do [about it]," Garcia said.
"I will prepare Brandon differently from what we did with Margarito. It has served me well to have been with Margarito three years ago, I learned a lot [from the Pacquiao fight]. And while the style is similar, we know that Brandon is almost 10 years younger than Margarito. Pacquiao was still in his time [back then] - and now Brandon is younger, eager. Pacquiao has changed a lot [since then]. Margarito [squeezed down] to 150 pounds, and Rios is going to come in as a strong welterweight. These type of things make the difference."
"Brandon hits hard [to the body]. Pacquiao said it and many people told us that Pacquiao went to the hospital [after the Margarito fight] because he broke his rib and I do not want to take anything away from Pacquiao but Margarito was [past his prime]. After the fight with Mosley, the hand wraps affected him. I think in this fight Brandon will have advantages."