Pacquiao vs. Rios—Making History in the Making

By Robert Ecksel on November 20, 2013
Pacquiao vs. Rios—Making History in the Making
“The stars live in the sky,” Duran said matter-of-factly. “On earth, everyone is an equal.”

Some histories, whether by nature or design, are secret histories. For example, many of us did not know that a Conference Call History existed…

“What is history? An echo of the past in the future; a reflex from the future on the past.”—Victor Hugo

History covers every subject from A to Z. Whether it’s Anthropology or Zoology, no subject is too obscure to not have a history of its own. But some histories, whether by nature or design, are secret histories. For example, many of us did not know that a Conference Call History existed. But there must be. Otherwise the recent conference call featuring Timothy Bradley, Marco Antonio Barrera, George Foreman, Sugar Ray Leonard, and Roberto Duran would not have been called the “Biggest Conference Call in Conference Call History.”

The aforementioned fighters are champions, and their presence on a conference call in advance of Saturday’s fight between Manny Pacquiao (54-5-2, 30 KOs) and Brandon Rios (31-1-1, 23 KOs) in Macau, China, is too significant to ignore. Whether their participation made it the “Biggest Conference Call in Conference Call History” is for others to decide.

Because he was awarded a decision over Pacquiao in 2012, however questionable that decision might have been, Timothy Bradley (31-0) was the first to speak about the fight and what Rios can expect when he faces the congressman from the Philippines.

“He should expect to see Manny Pacquiao being very quick and very elusive and lots of feints in this fight,” said Bradley. “Manny Pacquiao dropped a lot of feints on me and it kept me off balance as far as shots. He is very difficult to hit at times too because he is always angling out. He’s coming in, he’s out, he’s angling out to the right or to the left. That’s what Brandon Rios should expect. He shouldn’t expect Pacquiao to come right at him. Rios, if he is going to have a chance to beat Pacquiao he is going to have to close the distance. He is going to have to get close, stay close and punch. Pacquiao has a tendency to stay on the ropes with his hands high and stay in position to allow opponents to punch him at times and that will work in Rios’ favor. Rios likes to bring the pressure and throw uppercuts and body shots and I think that’s how he’s going to be effective in this fight. If he’s out too far, he’s doomed. If he can close the distance, he’ll be okay. And expect Pacquiao to come right back too…he has to have really good defense after he punches. And if he does that he’ll be successful. But if he allows Pacquiao to move on him and find angles—Manny has power in both hands, he can hurt you. I know Rios can take a punch but this is not Mike Alvarado. He is facing Manny Pacquiao.”

Marco Antonio Barrera (67-7) fought Manny Pacquiao in 2003 and 2007, but was less successful than Bradley.

“What I remember is fighting a guy I knew nothing about and a very explosive fighter,” said the Baby Faced Assassin. “What I remember about other than losing the fight was he really beat me with the body shots. He was an extremely quick fighter that I was not prepared for. More than anything, Manny Pacquiao gained a lot of respect from the fans by beating me. Other than that, he continued his success—and by beating bigger guys. He threw logic out the door because everyone thought that a guy in a smaller weight would never beat a heavier guy. Manny Pacquiao has made himself a star and gave smaller fighters the idea that, ‘Hey, I can make it in the bigger weights.’ That’s the type of fighter Manny Pacquiao is. I think it is a complicated fight for both of them. You have Brandon Rios who comes straight forward and will apply the pressure on Manny. Then you have Manny who moves around the ring very well and picks and chooses his spots and comes at different angles and is a very strong fighter with a lot of speed. It’s just going to be a tough fight for both of them.”

Much has been made of the fact that this fight is in China. It’s a whole new world, a whole new market, a whole new denomination, a whole new time zone. George Foreman (76-5) knows a thing or two about fighting overseas. He bounced Joe Frazier like a basketball in 1973 when the two men fought in Jamaica, and was rope-a-doped a year later by Muhammad Ali in Kinshasa, Zaire.

“It’s going to be rough,” said Big George, “and that’s all there is to it. Because you can say to yourself ‘I am accustomed to it,’ but you can be there for a month. I have been there for two weeks—it’s just not going to help you. You wake up at the wrong times. You eat at the wrong times. Pacquiao, because he lives in that area, boy, it’s probably going to be a shutout if he is on his game at all. Like I said, it’s a thing you can’t control. It’s your body. Forget about the mental showdown. It’s a physical showdown. You really have to pick the fight out of the guy at 8 in the morning—it’s just not going to be the same.”

Sugar Ray Leonard (35-3-1) spoke next. He was asked if the one-punch knockout by Juan Manuel Marquez would have any lingering effects.

“Pacquiao is not finished even though he was knocked out in a viscous manner,” said Sugar Ray. “What Brandon Rios needs to do is not let Pacquiao forget about what took place in his last fight. Rios has to jump right on top of Pacquiao, because what happens is when you get knocked out in the fashion that Pacquiao was knocked out, it becomes like an Achilles heel. But if there is anyone that could block that out, Pacquiao is definitely the guy to do that. This fight depends on whose game plan, who dominates the other, takes control early in the fight. If there was anyone that has the ability to come back, both physically and psychologically, it’s Manny Pacquiao. I think Pacquiao will win although I give Rios a shot, a big shot. It’s not going to be an easy fight.”

Last but not least, Roberto Duran (103-16) had his say. He was asked about Leonard, who was described as a “huge star,” and if stardom might be a factor in this fight.

“First of all,” said Duran, “the stars live in the sky. On earth, everyone is an equal. Yes, Manny Pacquiao is a well-known star and he is not finished by any means. He is embarrassed by the Marquez loss and he feels that he needs to redeem himself.
Brandon Rios needs to be very careful because I once was knocked out and I came back and won the title so by no means can you count Manny Pacquiao out. He is a very dangerous fighter. Brandon Rios needs to be intelligent in the ring, protect himself at all times because he doesn’t know where these hits are coming from. I just give some advice to Brandon Rios—go in and attack and don’t be afraid and don’t hesitate because he can win if he fights intelligently. But Manny Pacquiao is still a very dangerous fighter.”

Manny Pacquiao vs. Brandon Rios will be broadcast live on HBO pay-per-view on Saturday, November 23, starting at 9 PM ET/6 PM PT.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

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Manny Pacquiao Vs Brandon Rios - The Art of War 孫子兵法 (Promo)

George Foreman vs Joe Frazier I

Manny Pacquiao vs Brandon Rios - PROMO ᴴᴰ

George Foreman vs Muhammad Ali - Oct. 30, 1974 - Entire fight - Rounds 1 - 8 & Interview

Pacquiao Vs Rios (2013) - Bad Intentions (Promo)

Roberto Duran vs Sugar Ray Leonard I (High Quality)

Pacquiao vs Rios Promo

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  1. pepelconde 02:23am, 11/23/2013

    Brandon really thinks he can beat Manny with his blabber mouth and disrespect he needs to quit the talk and walk the walk, easy win for Manny

  2. Frank Delgado 10:11am, 11/20/2013

    I have my respect with Brandon Rios’ achievements, and boxing world could consider him as the next big star in the sport. Perhaps right now is not yet the time, Nobody yet can imagine him replacing Pacquiao in the pedestal, maybe in the near future but now is not yet the time. Brandon still has a long hard road ahead of him . Pacquiao can of course be beaten by A class fighters in the likes of JMM or Mayweather.  Moreover, it’s a big turn off for Pacquiao getting beaten by a lower class, B-fighter like Rios. I just can’t imagine.

  3. Kojie 08:43am, 11/20/2013

    Let’s get ready to rumble! Betting on Pacman. KO or not, Pacman’s gonna win this fight, even if Rios is the bigger dude.

  4. Dr, YouTube 08:06am, 11/20/2013

  5. Pete The Sneak 07:04am, 11/20/2013

    “First of all,” said Duran, “the stars live in the sky. On earth, everyone is an equal.”…Roberto still trying to stick it to Ray Leonard….But his words ring very true. Rios does indeed need to be intellegent in the ring. And that to me will be Garcia’s biggest challenge. Trying to get Rios to be smart like using his jab more and cutting off the ring as Don from Prov mentioned; Particularly, as Duran said, wherein you don’t know where the hits are coming from. The first time Rios gets caught good by Pac Man, any smart tactics and strategies devised by Garcia will be out the window and Rios will resort to what he knows best. Fight. you hit me and I hit you. That will probably be Rios downfall. Still, totally looking forward to this fight…Peace.

  6. Don from Prov 06:13am, 11/20/2013

    The conference call fighters, with the exception of Foreman, all seem to give Rios a real shot.  That would bring me back to what Roy Jones said the other night when he mentioned that he looks forward in this fight to see if Robert Garcia is the trainer he is supposed to be: Rios must be ready to use his jab, cut off the ring, and force Manny into a phone booth war.  If he’s not prepared, it will show, IMO.  I’m not sure that Garcia will have Rios prepared.

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