PACQUIAO DEDICATES RIOS FIGHT TO YOLANDA VICTIMS

Pacquiao has said the Rios fight, his first of the year, will be the start of his intended return to his peak form and to show that consecutive losses to Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez are not the start of a decline.

ALSO: MANNY HAS RIOS ALL FIGURED OUT

“The more I see of Rios in the tapes the better I feel. He’s just a tough guy and tough guys don’t win fights. Manny can outbox him and he can do it with ease,” Roach said.

ALSO: FREDDIE KNOWS: IT'S PACQIAO IN 6 ROUNDS

Roach said Pacquiao is “90 percent” ready for the fight, which takes place at high noon of Nov. 24 (Nov. 23 in the United States) in Asia’s gambling capital.


PACQUIAO DEDICATES RIOS FIGHT TO YOLANDA VICTIMS



FILE - In this March 23, 2011 file photo, Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao, left, trains with coach Freddie Roach in Baguio, northern Philippines. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez, File)


MANILA, NOVEMBER 18, 2013
(PHILSTAR) By John Pye (Associated Press) Manny Pacquiao believes the best way to bring inspiration and hope to the victims of the devastating Typhoon Haiyan in his native Philippines is to win his comeback fight against Brandon Rios.

To do that, he has to limit the distractions ahead of the Nov. 24 fight in Macau. So that rules out a visit to the areas most devastated by the deadly typhoon to the north of where he's in a training camp at General Santos, in the southern Philippines.

It's a heart-wrenching decision but his handlers, including veteran trainer Freddie Roach, have insisted it is for the best. Instead, the Filipino congressman is dedicating the fight against Rios to the people.

In what he called a "statement to his people," the 34-year-old Pacquiao said: "I really want to visit the area and personally do what I can to help our countrymen who have suffered so much in this terrible tragedy. But I'm in deep training for a crucial fight so I regret I cannot go."

"I will send help to those who need it the most," he added, "and I enjoin all of you to pray for our country and people in these trying times."

Pacquiao's adviser Michael Koncz told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Wednesday that the former pound-for-pound champion was hoping to visit devastated parts of the Philippines after his fight at The Venetian Casino's Cotai Arena in Macau, on the morning of Nov. 24, and wants to cheer them up with a victory.

Authorities have confirmed at least 1,700 dead and hundreds of thousands displaced by the typhoon.

Koncz, who is in camp with the boxer in General Santos, said he is declining interview requests for Pacquiao in a bid to lock out any distractions. He said Pacquiao's camp had been watching developments and getting frequent updates in the wake of the typhoon, and it was difficult for the former champion not to go out and help.

"Manny's desire was to go to that area and to visit them and lift the spirits," Koncz said. "But we have the most important fight of his career.

"His heart and prayers go out to the survivors and the victim's families. Absolutely, he is dedicating this fight to the victims of this."

Pacquiao and his entourage leave for Macau on Monday.

"It's been one of the best camps I can remember. No tensions within — everyone dedicated to our jobs and working hard," Konzc said. "Manny's in the best physical condition he can be in. His mindset is on showing the world he can still compete to the highest level."

Pacquiao has said the Rios fight, his first of the year, will be the start of his intended return to his peak form and to show that consecutive losses to Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez are not the start of a decline.

"The fans are going to be in for a fight, for a treat," Koncz said. "If Manny sticks to the game plan, I truly don't believe the fight is going to go more than four or five rounds.

"He's determined to show the world nothing has declined in his skills and abilities. He's very motivated for this fight."

Koncz said if anyone was able to put the outside distractions on hold, at least for the duration of a bout, it was Pacquiao.

"Manny knows how to manage himself. He's been in the game a long time and knows his body better than anyone else. He's in that zone right now, he's ready. If he had to go tomorrow, he'd be ready."

By the time Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 Kos) gets into the ring against Rios, it will be about two years since his last victory.

Pacquiao's loss to Bradley was widely lampooned as a poor judging decision, but his knockout loss to Marquez was much more sobering.

Koncz said he took nothing away from Marquez, but it was the result of a defensive lapse by Pacquiao and "we don't view that as a loss."

"He fought with a lot of energy and threw a lot of punches. Unfortunately he got careless and walked into a punch from Marquez and got knocked out," Koncz said. "We view that as a mistake in the last seconds and (he) walked into a good punch.

"We have to erase that memory for the fans."

Pacquiao has Rios all figured out By Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) | Updated November 16, 2013 - 12:00am 0 8 googleplus0 47

MANILA, Philippines - Boxer Manny Pacquiao and trainer Freddie Roach have spent a lot of time in front of the TV set watching tapes of Brandon Rios’ recent fights.

For Pacquiao and Roach, it’s the movie of the week.

“He’s (Rios) a taller guy and we have been watching the tapes of his last 10 fights,” Roach told the international press the other day.

Rios at 5’8” is a couple of inches taller than Pacquiao, and at 27 is seven years younger than the Filipino superstar.

Roach said they’ve seen everything they want to see in Rios. He said they’re all set for the fight that takes place at noon of Nov. 24 in Macau.

“The more I see of Rios in the tapes the better I feel. He’s just a tough guy and tough guys don’t win fights. Manny can outbox him and he can do it with ease,” he said.

“We are 90 percent ready. We have the game plan down. We know how we are going to fight Brandon Rios,” added the 54-year-old trainer.

Pacquiao, who normally trains eight weeks for a fight or even less, has logged more time for this fight, which could be his last.

It’s been 11 months since Pacquiao last fought. The last time he did he ended up motionless on the floor after being knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez.

Pacquiao has thrown that loss behind and all that matters now for him is the fight against Rios, also his first outside the United States since 2006.

The fight is just around the corner and Top Rank has everything scheduled.

Fight week officially begins on Tuesday morning when the Media Center opens at the Venetian ballroom. The separate grand arrival for both boxers takes place at 9 and 9:30 p.m.

On Wednesday, the final press conference takes place at 9:30 p.m. (early morning in the United States). Roundtable discussions with Roach and Rios’ trainer, Robert Garcia, is set 10 a.m. Friday.

The official weigh-in is scheduled 7:30 a.m. of Saturday. The following day is the day of the fight. Gates open at 7:30 a.m. and Pacquiao vs Rios is scheduled to slug it out at high noon (primetime in the US).

Duran says Pacquiao still dangerous

By Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) | Updated November 17, 2013 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0 MANILA, Philippines - Boxing’s great stars past and present yesterday talked about Manny Pacquiao’s awaited return to the ring against Brandon Rios on Nov. 24 in Macau.

In a star-studded conference call, George Foreman, Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran, Marco Antonio Barrera and Timothy Bradley shared their thoughts on the fight.

They agreed that the non-title fight at 147 lb, set at noon of Sunday (primetime Saturday in the United States), is going to be exciting, incredible and intriguing.

Bradley, who got away with a decision against Pacquiao in June last year, predicted a knockout win for the Filipino superstar inside eight rounds.

Bradley warned Rios that Pacquiao is “very quick and very elusive” and that every punch the latter throws is a “death blow” and “every shot is hard.”

To have a chance, Bradley said Rios must “get close, stay close and punch” against perhaps the quickest two-handed boxer ever to grace the sport.

Foreman sees a 12-round “home-region” decision for Pacquiao while Leonard expects the Filipino to win but “it’s not going to be an easy fight.”

Then Duran said Pacquiao is as dangerous as before.

The champion from Panama said Pacquaio may have been embarrassed with the knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez last December but it’s a thing of the past.

Freddie knows: It’s Pacquiao in 6 rounds By Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) | Updated November 15, 2013 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0

MANILA, Philippines - Freddie Roach only knows one thing: Manny Pacquiao will knock Brandon Rios out on Nov. 24 at the Venetian Hotel in Macau.

Roach loves to pick a round when he predicts knockouts. Against Oscar dela Hoya, he picked the ninth round, and the fight didn’t last nine rounds.

This time the celebrated trainer is saying it won’t last six.

“I think Manny is going to outbox him (Rios) and knock him out inside six rounds,” said Roach in a media conference call from General Santos City the other day.

The transcript of the call was e-mailed to The STAR by American publicist Fred Sternburg yesterday.

Roach said Pacquiao is “90 percent” ready for the fight, which takes place at high noon of Nov. 24 (Nov. 23 in the United States) in Asia’s gambling capital.

Pacquiao has been working harder and longer than before in training, and the other day Roach gave the Filipino icon more time to rest after a great run in the morning.

Roach said he noticed that Pacquiao looked tired when he showed up at the Wild Card Gym.

“You know Manny, you can take the day off. Go home and get some rest,” Roach told Pacquiao, who was scheduled to spar six rounds yesterday and another four on Saturday.

Pacquiao will fly to Macau on Monday afternoon or four days after Rios set foot in the gambling haven and declared that “victory is mine.”

Roach knows the importance of the fight, the first for Pacquiao this year, and the first since he took a crushing knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez last December.

In June last year, Pacquiao also lost to Tim Bradley.

Pacquiao can’t afford another loss. In fact, he can’t afford an ordinary win against his younger and hungrier foe from Oxnard, California.

Pacquiao needs to be impressive. He needs a knockout to show the world that he’s still the same old fighter that once ruled the sport.

Otherwise, Roach said he will pull the plug himself.

“If Manny boxes a good fight and does well and he gets a bad decision then we’d have to sit down and talk about it. But it’s really hard to say until we see the fight.

“If I see he is slowing down and slipping in the fight I will be the first one to tell him. We have an agreement that I will tell him that and he will retire,” said Roach.

So far in training, Roach is happy with what he’s seeing.

“I don’t see him slipping in the gym at this moment and he’s doing really well. If things don’t go well we will talk about retirement and going into politics full time or something like that,” he said.

Freddie knows.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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