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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 considering running for president in Philippines

Manny PacquiaoManny Pacquiao is already a congressman in the Philippines, and the Filipino boxer says he is considering running for president in his home country one day.

Pacquiao did several interviews on Saturday to promote his upcoming fight with Brandon Rios in China. In an interview with the AFP, he was asked whether he has thought about running for president in his country, and he said yes.

“When I started boxing, of course I was planning, you know, and thinking about getting to become a champion. So when I enter politics it’s the same thing.
“But, you know, it’s far away,” Pacquiao told AFP, adding: “It’s God’s will.”

Pac-Man is 34 years old and coming off consecutive losses, including a devastating knockout defeat to Juan Manuel Marquez that left many concerned about the Filipino’s health. Pacquiao’s family was worried about his well-being, and his mother wants him to stop fighting. Manny says he has been ignoring those concerns as he prepares to face Rios in November, but he knows the end of his fight career is nearing.

Trainer Freddie Roach already said he won’t train Pacquiao any more if the Filipino loses his next fight, which would make it three defeats in a row.

Pacquiao is in his second term as a congressman. He has filed five bills in the country’s house of representatives, mostly related to improving healthcare and fitness. He has also taken an anti-contraceptive stance. Pacquiao’s wife, Jinkee, has also entered politics in the Philippines. She won her election this year to become vice president of a province.

Freddie Roach will tell Manny Pacquiao to retire if he loses again

Freddie Roach Manny Pacquiao

Freddie Roach reportedly said that he will tell Manny Pacquiao to retire if the fighter loses for a third straight time.

Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KOs) is scheduled to fight Brandon Rios (31-1-1, 23 KOs) on Nov. 23 in Macau, China. Pac-Man is coming off back-to-back losses. He lost a controversial split decision to Timothy Bradley last June, and he suffered a devastating knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez in December.

Roach, Pacquiao’s longtime trainer, says he will advise his fighter to hang up the gloves if he loses to Rios.

“If he loses, I will tell him to retire,” Roach told ESPN. “If you lose three in a row it’s your time.

“He’s up there in age. I’ve got to keep a close eye on him. It’s part of my job to protect him. I will do the right thing.”

Pacquiao is 34 and already has a career in politics in the Philippines. Not only does he have other interests in life to look out for, but Roach has long felt that Manny’s training suffered because of his multiple interests. Maybe it wouldn’t be the worst thing for him to retire.

But this could also just be lip service from Roach.

If this story sounds familiar, it’s because Roach said the same thing last year before Pacquiao’s fight with Bradley. Manny didn’t look great, but he went back out to fight in December. And even though Pacquiao’s health has been in question since his knockout loss to Marquez, his camp is sending him back out there again. Roach may advise Pacquiao to retire, but I doubt he listens.

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.

Juan Manuel Marquez done fighting Manny Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao Juan Manuel MarquezJuan Manuel Marquez has fought Manny Pacquiao four times and gone 1-2-1 against him, including a sixth-round knockout win in December. Pacquiao was looking at facing Marquez for a fifth time in a rematch, but Marquez chose to fight Timothy Bradley instead. Now he says he’s done fighting Pac-Man.

“With Manny Pacquiao, [I'm] finished there. I don’t want to fight with Manny Pacquiao because all finished. I won the last three fights. In four fights I won. I don’t want to fight with Manny again,” Marquez told The Los Angeles Times’ Lance Pugmire in an interview.

“I repeat: I don’t want to fight with Manny again because I won the last three fights,” he told Pugmire.

Marquez and Pacquiao fought to a draw in their first bout. Pac-Man won by split decision in 2008, a controversial majority decision in 2011, and then Marquez finally scored the first decisive victory in their series with the knockout in 2012.

There was speculation that Marquez turned down a fifth fight with Pacquiao because he did not want to go to Asia where Pac-Man wanted to fight for tax purposes. But he says he wanted to fight Bradley because he’s a champ.

“I want to win another belt,” says Marquez.

The two are scheduled to meet on Sept. 14.

I have to say, I was pretty tired of Pacquiao-Marquez fights and could surely go without seeing them fight again. At 39 years old, it’s quite possible that he’ll retire soon, too.

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.