With the quality of opponents he has fought, Manny Pacquiao fears nobody in the ring.
Certainly not Brandon Rios, his opponent on Nov. 24 at Cotai Arena of The Venetian Macao Resort Hotel.
“I have seen Rios fight and I am confident that I will win the (Macao) fight,” Pacquiao told PhilBoxing.com. “One of my advantages is my experience against better opposition. I think the question that needs to be asked is, “Is Rios ready for me?”
Pacquiao got an inkling of the answer when he and Rios staged a minor roadwork yesterday at China’s Great Wall in Shuiguan, Beijing.
The younger (by seven years) and taller (two inches) Rios managed to stay ahead of Pacquiao throughout a 3,000-step steep climb there.
“Now I know that I’ve got my work cut out for me after racing against Brandon up those steps,” said Pacquiao. “He’s already in good condition!”
Earlier reports from Oxnard, California, where Rios is based, bared that the Mexican-American has been hitting the gym regularly to get into fighting shape.
Pacquiao, on the other hand, has been limited to playing basketball whenever he’s not preoccupied with his duties as Sarangani representative.
Coming off successive losses to Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez and aware of his advancing age (34), Pacquiao intends to spend more time preparing for Rios than he did against the likes of Marquez and future Hall of Famers Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto and Shane Mosley.
According to Pacquiao, the only boxer to have held eight world titles in as many divisions, he’ll train for three months this time.
Meanwhile, Pacquiao clarified reports that he is seeking the presidency. In an interview with 24 Oras, Pacquiao said it (presidency) was just “a dream” and if it happens, then it will be God’s will.
Lawyer Franklin Gacal, Pacquiao’s chief of staff, also told the AFP that the Fighter of the Decade “has no immediate plans to run for president.”
Gacal said Pacquiao knows that he isn’t qualified to seek the presidency yet in 2016 because of the age requirement (40 years old on election day).