Freddie Ready for Rios

By Robert Ecksel on November 13, 2013
Freddie Ready for Rios
Those looking to be reassured might not be reassured by those less than reassuring words.

In anticipation of the November 23 fight between Manny Pacquiao and Brandon Rios at The Venetian Macao’s CotaiArena in Macao, China, Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach, speaking from Pacquiao’s training camp in General Santos City, Philippines, met with the press earlier today via teleconference call to talk about the upcoming fight.

“Training camp has been going great,” he said. “We have been sparring very well. We have six rounds to spar tomorrow and four rounds on Saturday. Then we are going to head to Macau Monday afternoon after training. We are 90% ready. We have the game plan down. We know how we are going to fight Brandon Rios. He’s a taller guy and we have been watching the tapes of his last ten fights. We have a great game plan and Manny knows how to fight this fighter.”

Pacquiao has spoken about his renewed love for boxing. He says he feels like a kid again.

“He is doing really good,” said Roach. “He had a great run in the morning. He did a lot of sprints and had a great run. When he came into the gym, he looked a little tired and I said, ‘You know Manny, you can take the day off. Go home and get some rest.’ I think what has happened here is weighing on his mind. We have had a lot of calls about the tragedy of course. We do talk about it in the gym—about how many people got killed in the storm and how many more have been affected. He is focused on the fight still but obviously it is a big distraction because it killed all of those people.”

What happened in the Philippines due to Typhoon Haiyan is weighing on many people’s minds. These “weather events” are occurring with alarming frequency. Perhaps that’s a coincidence; perhaps not.

Pacquiao is coming off back-to-back losses. The loss to Timothy Bradley is easy to dismiss as a decision that went awry. Less easy to dismiss, in fact impossible to dismiss, is the knockout he suffered at the hands of Juan Manuel Marquez in his last fight.

“I think it is a situation where he has to look impressive in this fight and we are doing everything possible to do that. We have Manny’s mind on the right path I believe. He knows he has to look impressive in the fight and he knows Brandon Rios is coming off of a loss also. We can’t give into him at all in this fight.

“He has definitely put the knockout behind him. Manny Pacquiao knows that the knockout is part of the sport. He realizes that if you aren’t able to handle the knockout you picked the wrong sport. He is totally recovered and is brave as ever in the ring.”

Roach admits the Rios is a “tough kid,” but said “The more I see of Rios in the tapes the better I feel. He’s just a tough guy and tough guys don’t win fights. Manny can outbox him and he can do it with ease.”

Roach studied the two fights with Mike Alvarado and they were revealing: “The first fight obviously [Rios] looked great and he stopped him. In the second fight he got outboxed and I told Manny, ‘That’s how you beat this guy, you outbox him. You don’t trade with this guy. You just weave in and out and the fight will be easy.’ I know he is a tough guy but tough guys don’t win fights. Good boxers win fights.”

After he was knocked unconscious by Marquez, many thought we might have seen the last of Manny Pacquiao. Freddie, however, isn’t one of them.

“Manny was fighting one of the best fights he has fought in a long time. He fell into the punch. Those things happen, whether it was a lucky punch [or not]. Marquez was throwing a lot of punches. The thing, in that fight, if Manny had waited one second more, Manny was going to win that fight by knockout. Nothing carried over. I know people are skeptical…but knockouts are what they are. Manny Pacquiao is a realist. He understands it is part of the sport. He’s been knocked out twice before. So he accepts that and I don’t think it’s going to affect him at all. But we probably won’t know until the fight.”

Those looking to be reassured might not be reassured by those less than reassuring words.

“To be honest with you,” he continued, “when I was knocked out for the first time, it changed my whole career, because I was never as brave as Manny. I lost my self-confidence. But Manny is not like me. I know everybody doesn’t think the same way, but since he accepts it, it doesn’t bother him.”

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  1. comfi 03:59am, 05/14/2018

    Awesome image!

  2. sara 08:06am, 05/07/2018

    thanks for sharing, this should be a good one!

  3. Dave 08:04am, 05/07/2018

    I still believe in pac, even though he is getting old.
    thanks for sharing

  4. Eitan Alsec 04:02am, 05/07/2018

    pete and jack - that’s the fight Garcia needs to make him truly viable for a Payweather fight - and I for one wouldn’t necessarily bet against him vs Pac

  5. Darrell 12:40am, 11/18/2013

    Good comments.  Agree that Pacquiao should have too much for Rios who is tailor made for him really….can anyone say “there to be hit”?  Should be a fun watch.

    Like Raxman I wouldn’t count out Garcia by any stretch if he fought Pacquiao….that kid has sound fundamentals.

  6. raxman 01:01pm, 11/17/2013

    pete and jack - that’s the fight Garcia needs to make him truly viable for a Payweather fight - and I for one wouldn’t necessarily bet against him vs Pac (even if pac does destroy Bam Bam). I’ve watch khan vs Garcia a few times now and the thing that stood out for me wasn’t anything in the fight but a comment - which i’ll paraphrase - from manny steward re Garcia “just like in the amateurs, he doesn’t look particularly good but he just keeps winning”. vs Matthysse he showed he can box above what I think anyone thought he could, and despite what a lot of people say the true weapon against a lefty isn’t the straight right hand - granted you have to use it - but the thing that can hurt a southpaw is the left hook

  7. Pete The Sneak 12:57pm, 11/15/2013

    rax ol’ mate, I totally agree. I think Manny has to look spectacular in order to continue being billed as a ‘player.’ As you mentioned, hence this fight with Bam Bam. The chances of a Rios fight going to some split decison and/or UD win are slim and none, and to quote Don King, ‘Slim has just left town.”...Jack, you are a boxing mind after my own heart brother. I would love to see a Post sensational win Pac Man fight the rough and tumble Garcia. You can keep FMJ vs Pac as far as I’m concerned. Give me Pac & Swift…Peace.

  8. Jack 12:45pm, 11/15/2013

    Raxman, a post that I can finally agree with what you are saying, unfortunately, the reality with Pacquiao is: The peak of his prime was 3-4 years ago. That was when he stood the best chance of beating Floyd. Today, that will never happen, even though Floyd has regressed also, just not as much. Pacquiao should win, opponents in this situation are not picked because they can win but because they are very likely to lose, an unfortunate reality in the business of boxing!!! Pete, I hope you are right. The fight I would like to see for Manny is Danny Garcia, if he “shines” in this fight.

  9. raxman 04:52pm, 11/14/2013

    roach says the key to beating rios is to box him like alvardo did. for other fighters i’d agree. and pac too, good go that way. but career wise a UD win, even a shut out, isn’t going to do it for pac. he needs and quick, lethal knock out to explode back to the top of the P4P lists and general hype. pac does his best work against rios style fighters. its why this fight is happening.

  10. Pete The Sneak 06:10am, 11/14/2013

    ...On another note, I don’t think Rios is long for too many more fights…Don’t know if anyone noticed last Saturday’s interview with Jim Lampley on HBO (before, or after the Donaire fight), but Brandon sounds awfully paunchy and you can already see some slight slurring in his speech. The result of his all out style and all those wars are becoming rather evident… For now however, he is still dangerous and will bring it to Pac man, no doubt, but Pac will be ready for his all out assault…Peace.

  11. Pete The Sneak 05:54am, 11/14/2013

    Nice read Robert. Almost seems that Freddie is trying to convince himself that Pac Man has totally recuperated from the JMM KO. But still, I do believe Freddie that if anyone can come back from that devastating KO, it’s Pacquiao. Again, don’t let his humbleness and easy going manner fool you. Inside that small frame beats the heart of a true warrior and I think you will see a better more focused Pac Man whom Rios will not be able to out box nor out speed. I love Rios, but he will be beaten soundly…Peace.

  12. rey emerson andulana 10:14pm, 11/13/2013

    yeah your right rios will be demolish by the fast handspeed and tremendous power of the pac of power once and for all trust me his now in best shape of his life ever to step into the ring this time around. and when pac and marquez cross path again in the ring pac will surely demolish the dinamita once and for all it would be a sweet but brutal revenge for the pacman period,....................

  13. Dranreb Datsboygym 09:49pm, 11/13/2013

    the PAC of POWER will bounce back again with the greatest vengeance ever to make…that prefect timed by Marqroid, PEEds master Pee drinker isnt enough to kill the legendary name of the greatest fighter ever…the PAC of POWER!  a kind of legendary that makes the Floydiot jr scared to face the PAC and even now Juan Marqroid seems so scared that his super lucky punch shall never been occur once more

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