Things didn’t exactly go as planned for Brandon Rios during his last outing against Mike Alvarado, losing via unanimous decision, but he’ll have a chance to redeem himself — and a lot more — when he squares up against Manny Pacquiao on Nov. 23, at the Cotai Arena in Macao, China.
Brandon Rios (31-1-1, 23 KOs), who has brought in Manny’s former strength and conditioning coach, Alex Ariza, understands that a win against Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KOs) would likely translate into bigger paydays down the road, and he vows to make the most out of the opportunity and retire the Filipino congressman.
“We hired Alex Ariza. We’ve been working with him for the past few weeks now and I feel great,” Rios explained. “The weight is perfect now. Like Mikey [Garcia] said, I never had a diet plan. I used to eat whatever I wanted. Then it got bad…everybody used to see me at weigh-ins…I used to look sick. But now the weight is coming off perfect and I feel great. Now I want to prove everyone wrong, shut the haters up that say I’m just a walking punching bag for Pacquiao. I have to go in there and show a different side of Brandon. I have to go in there and send Manny Pacquiao into retirement. [Juan Manuel] Marquez beat him, [Timothy] Bradley beat him and now it’s my turn – and now it’s time for him to go. Out with the old and in with the new.”
Even though Pacquiao is the favorite going into their showdown, it’s hard to fault Rios for his optimism. After all, Pacquiao was viciously knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez the last time he stepped inside the ring, so there’s a decent chance that the man who shows up on Nov. 23 will only be a shadow of his former self.
Brandon Rios certainly isn’t on Pacquiao’s level in terms of boxing ability, but his aggressive, brawling style might just be enough hand Manny, whose defense has never been anything special, his third straight loss.