By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao will be in a “make or break fight” with Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios when they clash at the Venetian Hotel & Casino in Macao on November 24.
Rios’ trainer Robert Garcia, the former world champion, told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard that he expects Pacquiao to be “in the best shape ever because it is a make or break fight for him and if he loses he may retire. That’s why we know he’ll have the best preparation ever. We know Manny is a superstar and he’ll be better than ever.”
Garcia who trains his brother, featherweight champion Mikey Garcia and former WBO, Ring Magazine super bantamweight champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire said he expects the Pacquiao-Rios fight to be “a war between two great fighters, great warriors.”
The 2012 “Trainer of the Year” said “I think its going to be a helluva fight that people will remember for many years.”
Garcia disclosed that Rios has already been training for the past two weeks, running every morning and doing some light workouts in the gym.
He said Rios did some sparring with a young fighter preparing for a fight next week “but nothing like when we start training for Manny.”
That schedule, according to Garcia, will begin two or three months before the fight and would involve running every morning and training in the gym at noon.
Pacquiao himself continues to play at least four hours of basketball almost every day and is reportedly in fine physical condition.
He too is expected to begin serious training in his hometown of General Santos City at least two months before the November showdown with Rios.
Both fighters will be at ringside for the Top Rank fight card in Macau on July 27 headlined by the WBO/WBA flyweight title fight between undefeated mandatory challenger Milan Melindo and Mexico’s champion Juan Francisco Estrada who won the title from another Filipino, Brian Viloria, last April 6 at the same Cotai Arena venue at the Venetian in Macau.