‘Rios will run when he gets hit’
MACAU—Manny Pacquiao and Freddie Roach both think that Brandon Rios will ultimately stop coming forward and backpedal. They just don’t know when.
“Manny actually thinks he (Rios) will run,” Roach told Manila-based sportswriters. “I’ll say he’ll run after the first punch is landed.”
The revelation was a surprise as Rios is noted for his relentless come-forward style.
But even if Rios does that, it will suit Pacquiao just fine.
“Manny likes people coming in,” said Roach, who bared that the Fighter of the Decade is right on target and ready to fight on Sunday. “He was really quick.”
“Manny is fine,” added Roach, noting that Pacquiao tipped the scales at 147.5 pounds Tuesday, well within sight of the 147-lb limit.
For a while, Roach was worried that the scuffle involving him and Alex Ariza will affect Pacquiao.
But when Pacquiao jokingly kicked him at the close of their training session Wednesday, Roach heaved a sigh of relief.
Pacquiao was at his element, horsing around after their two-hour regimen.
True enough, Pacquiao told a foreign television crew that the incident doesn’t bother him.
“It’s business as usual,” said Pacquiao, whose pranks included donning the mitts for sparring partner Liam Vaughan, who was training with Marvin Somodio, doing basketball jumpshots and jumping back into the ring after skipping ropes.
He also deliberately ignored Filipino trainer Buboy Fernandez’s call that the training session was over.
Pacquiao said he bore no rancor for Ariza’s bolting over to the Rios camp and was not about to pass judgment on the incident.
He also dismissed the notion that he’s past his prime, based on the result of his last two bouts against Timothy Bradley, a disputed split decision loss, and Juan Manuel Marquez, who knocked him out cold with a second to go in the sixth round.
“My power is still there. My speed is still there,” said Pacquiao, who reiterated that he’s forgotten about the shocking knockout.
“Past is past. I’ve already moved on.”