Manny Pacquiao batters Brandon Rios: ‘the speed got to me a little bit’

Manny Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao defeated Brandon Rios by unanimous decision Sunday morning in Macau for his first victory in over two years. He looked fast and powerful, and he proved to be the championship-caliber fighter he was prior to getting leveled by Juan Manuel Marquez last year.

Pacquiao destroyed Rios for nearly the entire fight. One judge had it a 12-0 shutout for Pac-Man, while another gave Rios a round and the third judge gave him two rounds.

Pac-Man delivered a devastating combination of shots to Rios’ body and head, and landed more than twice as many punches as his counterpart. Most of his damage was done to the body, where stats show he landed 241 of his 281 punches. Rios hit Pacquiao with a fair amount of body shots and landed 138 punches overall, but he spent most of the fight covering up and trying to protect himself.

Rios admitted after the fight that Pacquiao’s speed was too much.

“The speed got me a little bit,” Rios told HBO’s Max Kellerman.

Though the stats and outcome show Pacquiao dominated Rios, the Filipino actually said Rios was one of his toughest opponents.

“I consider this one of the toughest fights of my career,” said Pacquiao, who improved to 55-5-2 (38 KOs).

Rios came out of the fight with swelling and a huge bruise below his right eye.

Brandon Rios face

He described Manny as “very fast” and “very awkward” in style, while also calling him one of the best fighters in the world, along with Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Though he was thoroughly defeated, Rios did enough damage to put a mouse under Pacquiao’s right eye.

Manny, being the thoughtful and caring fighter that he is, said after the fight that he was dedicating his victory to his countrypeople affected by Typhoon Haiyan.

Freddie Roach trash talks Brandon Rios ahead of fight

roach-pacquiaoFreddie Roach has lost all diplomacy when it comes to Brandon Rios.

Roach, who trains Manny Pacquiao, has gone into full trash-talking mode ahead of the fight between Pac-man and Rios on Sunday in Macau (Saturday night in the US). This week Roach ripped Rios’ speed, defense and overall ability.

Rios said he was not a punching bag for Pacquiao, leading to this response from Roach: “He’s a punching bag that swings back.”

Roach then just brought the heat with the insults, saying Rios’ defense is worse than Ricky Hatton’s. Hatton is a British fighter who infamously was destroyed by Pac-Man and Floyd Mayweather.

“I think defense-wise, Ricky (Hatton) has better defense than him. Brandon Rios has never had good defense,” Roach said via Spin.ph.

So you think that trash talk from Roach is bad? It got worse.

“The more I watch him on tapes, the worse he gets,” Roach said of Rios. “He doesn’t do anything spectacular, he’s not special. He’s just a tough guy, he’s just in front of you, he swings back, but he’s too slow for Manny in my opinion.”

Roach is generally fairly respectful of his fighters’ opponents, so this sort of trash talk is unusual for him. But I guess after his fight with Alex Ariza and the rest of Rios’ camp, he means business.

Manny Pacquiao and Brandon Rios camps get into fight at gym (Video)

Freddie Roach Robert Garcia

The camp members of Manny Pacquiao and Brandon Rios got into a big altercation at a gym in Macau on Wednesday morning (local time) that involved racial and homophobic slurs as well as an assault. The fight may or may not have been staged to drum up publicity for the fight between the two men, which is taking place in Asia and has not received the type of buzz a Pacquiao fight used to generate.

The supposed fight between the two sides arose after Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, complained that Rios’ camp was still in the gym past their allotted time. Rios’ team was supposed to have the gym — located in the Venetian in Macau — from 9-11 a.m. Pacquiao was scheduled to have the gym at 11.

Supposedly upset over Rios still being in the gym, Roach approached Rios’ trainer, Robert Garcia, interrupted his interview and told him to get out. Roach supposedly called Garcia a piece of s— and told him to go f— himself. Alex Ariza, who is now Rios’ trainer and was previously Pac-Man’s trainer before he was let go because of friction with Roach, got involved and kicked Roach in the chest.

Ariza was seen on video mocking Roach’s Parkinson’s Disease and calling him a “stuttering prick.”

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Manny Pacquiao tells Brandion Rios his time is not done yet

Manny Pacquiao Brandon Rios

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.

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Brandon Rios working with Manny Pacquiao’s ex-trainer Alex Ariza

Is Brandon Rios trying to get some inside information on Manny Pacquiao ahead of their Nov. 23 fight?

Rios recently hired strength coach Alex Ariza on a short-term trial basis, according to MaxBoxing.com. Ariza previously served as Pacquiao’s strength coach, but he was fired in August after a conflict with Freddie Roach.

Roach, Pacquiao’s longtime trainer, was responsible for Ariza’s firing, according to Pac-Man. Roach hired Ariza in 2008 to help Pacquiao, but he had difficulty working with the strength coach. Roach complained that Ariza tried doing everyone’s job.

Ariza similarly complained about Roach, telling Yahoo! Sports that the trainer changed after becoming more famous once he got his own HBO show.

“He’s not the same person he was and you can talk to people in boxing who will tell you that,” Ariza said. “He’s become a celebrity. He said I became difficult to work with, but I never changed my approach.”

Ariza did admit that he is difficult to work with, so maybe he does have some understanding of what Roach experienced. The firing is not too surprising; Roach had been complaining that Pacquiao was being worked too hard ahead of recent fights and that the fighter’s calves were hurting from too much working out.

Pacquiao’s loss seems to be Rios’ gain at this point. Rios has been posting on Instagram about working with Ariza and seems to be pretty happy about things:

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Manny Pacquiao to fight Brandon Rios in November

Manny PacquiaoManny Pacquiao will face Brandon Rios on Nov. 24 (Nov. 23 in the US) in Macau, China, his adviser announced on Monday.

The fight will take place on Sunday morning in China so that it will also be on during primetime Saturday night in the US.

Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum said last month that he was deciding between Rios or Mike Alvarado as Pacquiao’s next opponent. Alvarado and Rios have fought each other in their most recent bouts. Rios won the first match in October, while Alvarado won the rematch in March.

Pacquiao’s team says they chose Rios because they believe his slugging style will lead to more of an exciting fight.

“We felt with Rios, based on his past of being an [active] competitor would make this a great fight against Manny,” Arum said, via The Los Angeles Times. “It’s a fight people want to see. Most boxing fans want to see guys mix it up.

“There’s a school of fan who want to see artistic fights with fighters like Floyd Mayweather and Guillermo Rigondeaux, but we felt they also want to see a knock-down, drag-out action fight, and that’s what we’re going to give them.”

Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, was also happy about the decision to choose Rios. He told The Times that one reason is because Pacquiao beat up Alvarado badly in a sparring session.

Roach also told Yahoo! Sports’ Kevin Iole that he’d like to see Pacquiao get “sweet revenge” on Rios. Rios, along with Antonio Margarito, mocked Roach’s speech and movements two years ago. Roach suffers from Parkinson’s Disease.

Iole has a number of great details about the fight and how it came to be, so I suggest his article for more reading. One interesting note is that the fight will be sold in pay-per-view form online and distributed by MLB Advanced Media.

Pacquiao, who is from the Philippines, will train for the fight in General Santos City. His big reason for fighting in China is to avoid the tax hit he would have from fighting in the US.

Pacquiao (54-5-2) is coming off consecutive losses. Rios (31-1-1) is coming off his first career loss.

Manny Pacquiao to face Mike Alvarado or Brandon Rios next

Manny PacquiaoManny Pacquiao is busy preparing for an election in the Philippines, but when he is done he can begin to focus on his next fight. According to his promoter Bob Arum, that fight will be against either Mike Alvarado or Brandon Rios.

Arum told the LA Times’ Lance Pugmire Tuesday that Juan Manuel Marquez will fight Timothy Bradley later in the year (they are currently aiming for a Sept. 14 date, though that could change). Marquez and Bradley deciding to fight each other took away two potential rematch options for the Filipino. After winning 15 straight fights, Pac-Man lost to Bradley and Marquez in back-to-back fights. Marquez opted to face Bradley instead of Pacquiao for a fifth time.

Marquez’s decision to fight Bradley leaves Pacquiao with two options: Alvarado or Rios. Both Alvarado and Rios are signed to Arum’s Top Rank company. They fought each other in their last two fights, with Rios winning the first slugfest last October, and Alvarado getting revenge in March. Neither fighter has fought anyone close to the caliber of Pacquiao.

According to Arum, one of the reasons Marquez turned down a fight with Pacquiao is because Pac-Man wants to fight in Asia. Marquez reportedly did not believe the pay-per-view revenue for such a fight would be as strong as one in the US. Pacquiao wants to fight in Asia for tax purposes.

Pacquiao’s election is in May. He is likely to fight in Macau in November.

Another twist to the whole saga is what is going on with the Sept. 14 date. Floyd Mayweather Jr. has long said he planned to fight that date against a to-be-determined opponent. Arum is making plans for have Marquez and Bradley to fight on that date. He thinks Mayweather may back out of the date, but he has said he will move dates if Golden Boy Promotions sticks to that date for Mayweather.