Brandon Rios

(PHILSTAR) Brandon Rios maintained he would be comfortable fighting as a welterweight, going up to 147 lbs to face Manny Pacquiao in the biggest fight of his career.

Rios said gaining seven more pounds would not be a problem since he will be bigger than Pacquiao in the Macau showdown.

In a conference call with the international media on Thursday, Rios, who has spent much of his career campaigning at lightweight (135 pounds) and light welterweight (140 pounds), expressed his delight in fighting at welterweight, saying he’s never been as comfortable.

“It is really great. I don’t have to kill myself to make 140 or even 135 that I was doing before that. I feel really great and I feel really strong. I don’t think the weight will affect me in a negative way. I actually think it will help me,” Rios told media members.

His trainer, Robert Garcia, agreed.

“You know he seems to be much more comfortable at this weight. Normally three or four weeks out he is usually training to cut the weight and it was hurting his performances in the gym. Those seven pounds are not going to hurt him at all,” Garcia said.

Fighters moving up in weight usually sacrifice power in doing so, and with Rios being known as a heavy-handed slugger, he might be at a disadvantage against Pacquiao.

But Garcia thought otherwise.

“He (Rios) is going to be stronger and he’s going to be faster because he is not cutting weight like he did when he was fighting at 135 or 140. Now the training is on our game plan and how to beat Manny Pacquiao, not on cutting weight, and he will be better for it when he gets in the ring with Manny Pacquiao,” he said.

The Mexican-American banger takes on Pacquiao on Nov. 24 in Macau, and the two protagonists had the chance to size each other up during a press tour in China a few months ago. While Pacquiao is a natural welterweight standing at 5-foot-6, Rios is taller at 5-foot-8.

And he made sure to point it out during the call.

“I am not smaller. At the press conference I believe he was smaller than me so I am not the smaller guy here. If you say that, your eyes are deceiving you because I am not smaller than Pacquiao. Pacquiao is smaller than me,” Rios stressed.

Top Rank chief Bob Arum, who likewise joined the call, echoed Rios’ statement.

“That is a good point that Brandon raises. Pacquiao is a much smaller guy. Brandon towers over Pacquiao; Brandon is much taller than Pacquiao. As far as the weight is concerned, that is one of Freddie’s (Roach) biggest problems. Manny is working so hard and he is so light that he is going back eating five meals a day in order to keep his weight. In other words, now he is probably five pounds under the welterweight limit,” said Arum.

Nevertheless, Rios is entering the fight as an underdog, and most boxing observers agree that his come-forward style is tailor-made for the faster Pacquiao.

Rios said people will be in for a surprise.

“It’s OK – everybody looks at me as a punching bag. But that’s all right, Robert and I are going in with a great game plan and we are going to shock the world and show them what kind of a fighter I am,” Rios explained.

“We are just ready, man. To be honest with you, I don’t care what people think, if I have a chance or not. I am just going to prove everybody wrong. And that’s good; they are not giving me credit. That makes me train harder and gives me the drive to show them and shut them up,” he added. – Dino Maragay/Contributor


Bare Eye Pacquiao has lighter bout than the President By Recah Trinidad
Philippine Daily Inquirer 1:27 am | Thursday, October 31st, 2013

Just like with President Aquino’s pork barrel pest, Manny Pacquiao has the pesky Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios to lick.

Both P-Noy and Pacman face awesome odds.

However, Pacquiao, 34, in this case enjoys a slight edge.

All he has got to do is beat Rios come Nov. 24 in Macau.

He could do it either by knockout or by decision.

* * *
Please take note that Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s famous trainer, has maintained that the only way to win is by knockout, which appears possible at this point.

On the other hand, there appears no way Mr. Aquino could score a KO.

The graver misfortune, of course, is that the President could not seem to decide on how to go against his abominable foe.
P-Noy didn’t seem too keen on going for a knockout.

He was supposed to detail battle plans in a talk to the nation scheduled last night.

* * *
For his part, Pacquiao yesterday claimed he would not be sailing hot for an outright stoppage.

In the same breath, he vowed to go for a KO once it presents itself.

Truth to tell, the popular call is for Pacquiao to score a resounding victory in order to regain his original popularity.

Do note that President Aquino’s approval rating dipped mainly on his indecisiveness to go all-out against pork barrel.

* * *
Meanwhile, Rios has been quoted as saying he respects Pacquiao, but is hardly awed by the eight-division world champ.

Pacquiao has maintained he has totally shrugged off (from his system) the dreadful knockout suffered against Juan Manuel Marquez last December.

Countered Rios: “He will surely change his mind once he feels my first punch. I will give it all, balls out, like I always do for my fans.”

Pacquiao has promised the opposite: No rush-rush.

“With age comes maturity, with maturity comes patience,” he retorted.

Pray the President, 53, would himself be able to make the same promise in future bouts.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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