Floyd Mayweather Jr. sees Manny Pacquiao as a “shot fighter,” yet continues to sidestep talks of getting in the ring with him.
On the other hand, Brandon Rios feels Pacquiao has something more to give and he may be risking his future by agreeing to a Macau fight with the Filipino eight-division world champion.
Whoever’s perception is correct will be known on Nov. 24 when Pacquiao and Rios tangle at Cotai Arena of The Venetian in the former Portuguese enclave.
In a recent press conference in San Antonio, Texas, Mayweather, who’s drumming up his Sept. 14 battle with Canelo Alvarez, again took potshots at Pacquiao.
“Pacquiao’s a has-been, his career is over; (but Juan) Manuel Marquez is a legend (and I commend him),” Mayweather told World Boxing News.
Marquez knocked out Pacquiao in the sixth round in their fourth battle in Las Vegas last December and derailed a projected megabuck Mayweather-Pacquiao showdown.
While Marquez nixed another rematch with Pacquiao, who bested him twice in their first three fights (the other one ended in a draw), Rios stepped on the plate and agreed to move up in weight to challenge the Filipino.
Though he was at ringside when Marquez sent Pacquiao to the canvas with a dynamite right with a second left in the sixth round, Rios refused to consider the loss as an indication that the fighting congressman of Sarangani province is on the wane.
Smarting from the narrow loss he suffered at the hands of Alvarado, whom he stopped in the eighth round in their first encounter, Rios showed his high regard for the 34-year-old Pacquiao.
“I’m going out there and I’m expecting the best Manny Pacquiao,” Rios told Chris Robinson of BoxingScene.com. “I can’t judge on one performance what happened.
“We don’t know. We’re just going to be ready for the best Manny Pacquiao. The one that was beating everybody. The one that was on top of the world.”