Manny Pacquiao is on a mission to prove that despite losing his last two fights, his career is not over.
Pacquiao is fighting Brandon Rios in Macau on Nov. 23. The fight hasn’t been publicized in the US as much as usual for a few reasons. One, the hype surrounding Pac-Man has dissipated since his consecutive losses. Two, his next fight will take place in China, not Las Vegas or Cowboys Stadium like some of his other recent fights. But with the fight three weeks away, HBO is beginning to drum up some publicity. That started with a special “Face Off with Max Kellerman” interview featuring Manny and Rios that was shown after Gennady Golovkin’s HBO fight last weekend.
The “Face Off” interview saw Pac-Man and Rios sitting opposite each other with Kellerman moderating and asking questions. In the interview, Manny made it clear that despite his consecutive losses and age, he is nowhere near done.
“I have 100 percent desire to continue my boxing career,” Pacquiao said in response to a Kellerman question. “I’m not old, I’m still young. I’m 34 years old. He’s younger. I can feel that. He’s hungry to win and focused on his training. But I can do that. My time is not over yet. It’s still my generation — it’s not over yet.”
Though Pacquiao is out to prove that he still is one of the top pound-for-pound fighters, Rios wants to push the Filipino into retirement.
“[Pacquiao's] saying right now that he’s still confident, he’s ready, that he isn’t done. I’m here to prove that wrong. I’m here to come out and defeat him. I’m here to do that. That’s my job. Of course I’m going to be ready for him.”
The line of discussion led to an exchange between the men.
“All I can say is my time is not done yet,” Pacquiao said to Rios.
“That’s what a lot of greats say,” responded Rios. “You gotta realize a lot of greats have said that. It happens, man.”
The conversation went from Rios trying to send Pacquiao into retirement to Rios talking about his passion for boxing. And, boy, does Rios ever love boxing. He had some great lines that made Pac-Man crack up.
“To me it’s just another opponent. Yes, he’s done great in boxing. But to me he eats, sleeps, sh–s just like another human being,” Rios said bluntly.
“It’s not a job for me, it’s not a payday for me, it’s a passion for me. This is what I love. I love to hit somebody in the face. It’s better than sex. To me, boxing is better than sex. That’s my orgasm. I f—ing love this sport.”
Pacquiao, who is generally an affable fellow, was laughing at Rios’ words. But even if he finds humor in what Rios says, don’t mistake his motives; he’s looking to annihilate Rios. And Rios is a slugger, which should make for an entertaining fight.
You can see part of the segment in the video below: