Bam Bam Meets the Press
In anticipation of his November 23 fight in Macau against Manny Pacquiao, Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios met with the press via teleconference call from his training camp in Oxnard, California.
The big question surrounding this fight is how gun-shy Pacquiao may be. He’s not the same fighter he was five years ago, but a knockout of the type he suffered at the hands of Juan Manuel Marquez can affect a fighter, even a fighter as evolved as Manny Pacquiao.
“We can’t go in the ring and think he’s going to be like that from the last knockout,” said Rios. “We don’t know how he is personally. We have to go in there and wait and wait and wait and see what he has because he is still a dangerous opponent. Pacquiao is always going to be dangerous, so I can’t go in there and jump on him to see if he’s done with. I’m not thinking like that. I’m going in there with a great game plan.”
In some ways Rios is the polar opposite of someone like Marquez. He’s not a counterpuncher. He initiates. He’s not a sharpshooter. He comes armed with a machine-gun.
“Everybody looks at me as a punching bag,” admitted Rios. “But that’s all right. Robert and I are going in with a great game plan and we are going to shock the world and show them what kind of a fighter I am. We are just ready, man. To be honest with you, I don’t care what people think, if I have a chance or not. I am just going to prove everybody wrong. And that’s good they are not giving me credit. That makes me train harder and gives me the drive to show them and shut them up.”
Not for the first or last time, Rios is the underdog. But he’s been the underdog all his life. He’s used to it. He likes it. He even relishes it.
“I love it. I love it when they doubt me and I can prove them wrong. I proved them wrong against Peterson. I did it again against Acosta. I did it with Antillon and I did it with Alvarado. So I’ll be ready.
“Everybody is overlooking me. I just want to show the world that, hey, he is in there with a live dog. He is not in there with a little puppy. He is in there with a live dog. I am going to show the world that he belongs with the best; he wants to fight the best. This is the guy that has heart and balls that gives everything in the ring, that’s what he wants.”
Bam Bam’s trainer, Robert Garcia, was reluctant to reveal his game plan. Boxing instead of slugging would seem to be the way to go, but a leopard doesn’t change its spots.
“I think if we were getting ready to outbox Manny it would be trying,” Garcia said. “Everybody knows how Brandon fights and nothing is going to change Brandon. That’s what we are going to do. We are going to try to make it into a brawl. That’s the only way Brandon fights and that’s the only way Brandon knows how to fight so there is nothing else we can do. That’s what we have to do.”
Garcia has a dog in this fight, as does Brandon Rios.
“I am a Pit Bull mixed with a Great Dane, mixed with a Rottweiler, mixed with a Bull Terrier, mixed with everything. That’s what kind of dog I am.”
Rios was asked which Pacquiao he’s preparing for, as though there’s more than one Pacquiao when the bell rings.
“I’m ready for the Pacquiao that was dominating the game,” he said. “That’s the guy I’m ready for. I am not looking at his last fight when he got knocked out by Marquez. That could happen to anybody. That could happen to me. We cannot go in thinking Pacquiao is done, he’s old. I’m not looking at that. I’m looking at the Pacquiao that was dominating the game. I’m getting in the best shape I can get and I’ll be ready mentally and physically for this fight. And if he looks old—great—that gives me more time to warm up. If he’s at his best—great—then I have to warm up faster.
“It’s going to be a great fight and it’s going to be a great fight for everybody around the world. You’re going to see two warriors go at it and they really do go at it.
“I want to say thanks for everyone that believes in me.”