Junior welterweight contender Brandon Rios discusses his first career defeat, to Mike Alvarado, and his mental focus as he moves up in weight to challenge eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao on November 23rd from Macau, China.
You’ve had tremendous success as a professional. You fought undefeated for nearly 10 years. You enter this fight in unfamiliar territory after falling to Alvarado. Will you prepare for this fight any differently than you always have? If so, how do you prepare so that you don’t completely alter approach as a fighter to the point that you’ve moved away from what has made you a success?
I’m going to fight the way I always fight. The only difference is I have to train in a smarter way. I can’t train to fight the way I fought with Alvarado and other fighters I have fought. I have to train smart, train to fight Manny Pacquiao. I’m going to train the same way and fight the same way but in a smarter way, because I can’t change my style of fighting. I can’t change something that has got me where I am now. The way I fight is the reason I have the wins I have, the reason I have the fans I have and the reason I’m fighting the biggest fight in my career on November 23 in Macau, China.
Falling to Alvarado in Rios vs. Alvarado II didn’t affect me at all, what affected me was training to the Alvarado I fought the first time at the Home Depot Center. That’s what affected me. I trained to fight hard, yes but to fight the Alvarado I fought before. When I trained for Alvarado the first time on October 13, 2012 I was confident and I was ready 100% for the fight. When I trained for Alvarado second time, I would say I was over confident because I knew I had hurt him the first fight I had already beat him. Therefore I believed I could do it again. That’s where I messed up because I didn’t really think he was going to change his game. I didn’t train for a different Alvarado, I honestly didn’t think he was going to change his routine. I trained for the Alvarado I had fought a few months back, that’s where I messed up.
This fight, Pacquaio vs. Rios, it’s going to be different I am going to train for everything. I am going to train for everything Manny Pacquiao is going to bring and some. I’m not going to assume he’s going to come into the fight like the Pacquiao that recently got knocked out. No, I’m training for the best Manny Pacquiao, I’m training for the elite fighter he is. I can never underestimate any of my opponents because at the end of the day, they want the same thing I want. A win. Getting that win, I have to assume Pacquaio is going to come in the best shape of his life, because he’s hungry again. Manny Pacquiao wants and needs that win on November 23 just like I want that win. So like I said before, I’m going to train for the best Manny Pacquiao there has ever been. I will train hard like I always do. I will give the fans the exciting fights they love to see, and I’m sure Pacquiao wants the same thing. I will fight like the Brandon Rios my fans love to see, but like I said I will train smarter, I will fight smarter. The loss to Alvarado earlier this year was a blessing in disguise, because I lost the fight to the cards, a very close fight. On the other hand I won something else, I won the experience, the experience to never be overconfident again. To always train for all scenarios, and that’s exactly what I am going to do.
24/7 Pacquiao/Rios Episode 2 debuts Saturday, Nov. 16 at 11:45 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.
Pacquiao vs. Rios takes place Saturday, Nov. 23 live on pay-per-view beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.