Rios on Pacquiao Outcome: I Will Shut All My Doubters Up!

By James Goyder
As Brandon Rios embarks on a whirlwind media tour which will take in Macau, Beijing, Singapore, Bristol, New York and Los Angeles the stratospheric significance of his next fight is slowly starting to dawn on the 27 year old.
The day Rios signed on the dotted line to face Manny Pacquiao on November 23rd he must have had a good idea of what he was getting himself into but after sharing a platform with the most popular fighter in the world for the first time in Macau he admitted to almost being overwhelmed by the sense of occasion,
“Today its hitting me, I almost started crying because a poor Mexican like me, a kid coming from a trailer is fighting one the biggest superstars in the world, one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world. I wasn't the richest, sometimes we had no water but I made it this far and I kept to my dream,” he said.
The man from Lubbock must get mentally ready to share a ring with a living legend, an icon whose popularity transcends sport, and the Top Rank tour is the first step in that process but afterwards it will be time to physically prepare to take on one of the best boxers in the welterweight division.
Pacquiao’s skill set brings with it a unique set of challenges and after the two fighters squared off for the first time Rios reflected on one particular problem he will need to overcome,
“I never fought a southpaw since my fourth pro fight, after that I haven't fought one so it could be a little bit confusing at first but once we start getting sparring partners and we start training I can adjust. I can adapt to anything, it will take me like a week to adapt to it but after that I'll be good,” he said.
One of Pacquiao’s career defining performances was against Antonio Margarito at Cowboy Stadium in 2011 when he moved up to light middleweight to inflict a brutal beatdown on the Mexican. It was also a big night for Rios who stopped Omri Lowther on the first fight of the PPV portion of that card.
In the intervening years he has successfully ascended the boxing hierarchy to the point that he now finds himself opposite Pacquiao and, while Rios says facing the Filipino holds no fear for him, the size of the worldwide audience and the scale of the event is enough to get the nerves jangling,
“He’s just another opponent for me, I'm more nervous because of the fact that I’m main event on pay per view with one of the superstars of the world, one of the best fighters in the world and to have the opportunity to be here and do something like this in front of millions of people watching around the world… I’m nervous about that but once that settles in I’ll be done, I’ll be ready to fight,” he told Boxing Scene.
The inaugural press conference on the tour was held in a ballroom in the bowels of the Venetian Resort & Casino and preceded Saturday’s ‘Fists of Gold II’ card. At its conclusion Pacquiao was mobbed by reporters and photographers whose desperation to get a shot of their man created a cacophony of flashes and flicks.
By contrast Rios cut a detached figure standing almost alone on the other side of the room, happy to acquiesce to a handful of requests from the small minority of media members who had decided to detach themselves from the scrum surrounding Pacquiao.
It is an experience he is going to grow increasingly accustomed to on this tour but the more Rios is ignored and overlooked the harder the fire in his belly burns and he already feels he has a point to prove on November 23rd,
“I'll be ready to show the world, I've got to shut up everybody who doubts me and everybody who’s always saying I’m just a punching bag. I’m going to shut them up, I’ve done it once and I’ll do it again,” he said.
Rios’ status as a suitable opponent for Pacquiao owes everything to his performance last October when he came from behind to stop Mike Alvarado in the seventh round of one of the best boxing matches in recent memory.
Despite losing the rematch Rios got the nod ahead of Alvarado, presumably because of his propensity for going toe to toe with opponents. The second fight between the two was, while undeniably entertaining, a more tactical affair than the first and ‘Bam Bam’ credits his opponent for coming in with a smarter strategy,
“Alvarado came out and did his gameplan very well, props to him. It was a great fight, it was a close fight that could have went either way but the winner was the fans and I’m satisfied about that performance because the fans got a great show. Look what happened the first fight… I stopped him, he didn't stop me, he went the distance so that shows I can already take a punch and I’m always prepared,” he said.
With Pacquiao having played a part in some of the best boxing battles of the century Top Rank probably picked Rios to headline its first ever pay per view card in Macau in the hope that the ‘Clash in Cotai’ might make its way into the annals of boxing history alongside other legendary fights in Asia like the ‘Thrilla’ in Manila’.
Rios trains under former IBF Super Featherweight Champion Robert Garcia in Oxnard and while you wouldn’t bet against the fight eventually turning into a war of attrition he says he plans to be meticulous in his preparation,
“Right now what we’re doing, we’re going to go back and Robert will watch the videos and study what we need to do to counter and make better adjustments so we come back and fight the same way but in a smarter way.”
Rios says he is currently at his normal walking weight of 165 lbs and hasn’t been training since the March loss to Alvarado. He believes he will be around 152 lbs come fight night and feels competing at welterweight will suit him because he won’t have to ‘kill himself’ to make weight.
Despite moving up a division Rios will have a height advantage against Pacquiao and says he isn’t worried about having to travel all the way to Asia for a fight which will take place on Sunday morning local time,
“I’m going to train at home where my family is and ten days before I’ll come out here. I'm not worried about none of that (time difference / acclimatization) it took me two days and I already got used to it, I came off the plane with no jet lag I got used to if the first day.”
While Rios is relaxed about fighting outside of the US for the first time he is definitely not taking his opponent lightly. Pacquiao might famously be coming off a dramatic KO loss at the hands of Juan Manuel Marquez but the Rios camp don’t read too much into that defeat,
“It happened, it’s boxing, anybody can get knocked out, I can get knocked out, you never know so I’m not judging off his last performance, I’m looking at the performances before that one because he can come out again like that,” said Rios.
On the table for Rios on November 23rd will be the opportunity to instantly establish himself as one of the top welterweights in the world, set up big money future fights with the likes of Marquez and Floyd Mayweather and go down in history as the man who retired Manny Pacquiao.
The fight could also mark an inflection point in the career of the Filipino whose coach Freddie Roach has stated clearly that he feels a loss to Rios would be the catalyst for his protégée to turn his back on boxing and focus full time on fulfilling his political ambitions.
Pacquiao would not want to bring down the curtain on his glorious boxing career with a third consecutive loss and will surely be desperate to register a win over Rios in order ensure that his fighting days do not end in the ignominy of back to back defeats.
Rios is well aware of this and, while the underwhelming performance against Bradley and the brutal loss at the hands of Marquez might be fresh in the minds of most boxing fans, he says he is expecting to face the Pacquiao who tore through Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto, and Antonio Margarito.
“You know what? We are going to get ready for the best Manny Pacquiao ever, we are going to get ready for the one that was dominating the game, the one that was just beating everybody, taking them out of the water. We’re going to get ready for that Manny Pacquiao.”
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by panicchaser on 08-01-2013

[QUOTE=Infamous;13606996]Really? You come at me with fantasy bs??? This is real life son... [url][/url][/QUOTE] U the 1 wit' the Walrus/polar bear story champ. U tell me. :boxing::boxing:

Comment by daggum on 07-31-2013

[QUOTE=Bronx2245;13607303]Rios has a puncher's chance. Look what happened to Roy Jr. after Tarver blasted his head off. However, I believe PAC is not stupid enough to go toe-to-toe with Rios, and will win the fight by UD. P[B]AC fans, stop…

Comment by TangInaMo Floyd on 07-31-2013

PACMAN by UD...then he should retire!

Comment by bojangles1987 on 07-31-2013

I'll be pissed if Pac is so shot he loses to Brandon Rios, because this guy doesn't deserve a name like that on his record as a win.

Comment by megadeth on 07-31-2013

[QUOTE=TLC8;13606416]Pacquiao beat down Cotto, Margarito, Clottey... big, big, strong men! [B]He gave Bradley a boxing lesson and got screwed.[/B] Rios just got beat by Alvarado. Manny has so much fight left, Floyd STILL won't fight him. Bradley & Marquez chose…

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