MACAU, CHINA – Fighter of the Decade MANNY “Pacman” PACQUAO and former world champion BRANDON “Bam Bam” RIOS are back together – almost – at least in the same hotel, ensconced inside luxury suites at The Venetian Macao. Boxing’s top-two pound-for pound all-action superstars will make their Grand Arrivals – full of pomp and circumstance -- Tuesday night – in Prime Time – at the Main Porte Cochere of the host resort. Rios will make his entrance, greeting his fans and meeting with dignitaries, at 9:00 p.m. local time, followed by Congressman Pacquiao at 9:30 p.m.
Upon their arrival at Macau International Airport on Monday evening, Pacquiao and Hall of Fame trainer World-Famous Freddie Roach had this to say:
“Am I confident for my fight with Rios? I am more than confident. Rios is bigger than me. Remember Goliath was bigger than David and yet David needed just one stone to fell the giant. I enter this fight stronger than ever. I have the strength of my country and my people coursing through my body. I fight for them, not for me. I fight for their glory, not mine.”
"Manny’s last training session was nothing short of amazing. We were supposed to do six rounds on the mitts and I cut it off after four rounds. They were the best four rounds of mitts I have ever done with Manny. He was blazing. He was throwing the heat. This was the happiest and most productive camp I have had with Manny in years. I know I predicted that Manny would knock Rios out inside six rounds but based on our last workout, I don’t see how Rios makes it past the fourth round.”
Rios and Garcia hosted a roundtable in their suite with the first wave of international media who arrived earlier in the day.
“I want to feel Manny’s power. I want to feel all of it. This is the first training camp I have kept to the game plan and done everything I was told to do. Manny Pacquiao is a big step. I am going to shut everyone up and prove I am the best. The second Alvarado fight was my bad. I was focused on knocking him out and that’s how I trained and fought, throwing one shot at a time trying to land that knockout punch. It was also the first time I ever lifted weights and by the third round I was slowing down. This time I am focusing on winning -- not on the knockout -- and Robert and his dad have designed a lot of ways for me to do that. My body clock has finally adjusted to Macau. I slept until 7 a.m. and was in the gym before 9 a.m. I know we are in Manny’s backyard and I want to win every round. I have trained not to give up a minute to Manny Pacquiao.”
“Twice during the two episodes of “24/7” I’ve heard Freddie Roach say he will ask Manny Pacquiao to retire if he loses to Brandon Rios. Well, Freddie had better buy that gold watch for Manny, because the retirement party begins on Saturday night. I guarantee you this will be the last time you ever see Manny Pacquiao on an HBO Pay-Per-View.”
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 take place Saturday, November 23, at The Venetian® Macao’s CotaiArena™. It will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View®, beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT.
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, one of boxing's most exciting fighters, has only fought outside the U.S. twice, in México, winning a 10-round split decision over Ricardo Dominguez and knocking out Daniel Valenzuela in the second round in 2008 and 2009, respectively. .
HBO Sports’ groundbreaking “24/7” reality franchise, which has captured 17 Sports Emmy® Awards, is providing an all-access pass to Pacquiao vs. Rios. The final episode of “24/7: Pacquiao/Rios” debuts Thursday, Nov. 21 (10:00 p.m.), just two days before the welterweight showdown.
For fight updates go to www.toprank.com or www.hbo.com/boxing, on Facebook at facebook.com/trboxing, facebook.com/trboxeo or facebook.com/hboboxing and on Twitter at twitter.com/trboxing, twitter.com/trboxeo, and twitter.com/hboboxing. Use the Hashtag #PacRios to join the conversation on Twitter.