Pacquiao makes Rios trainer eat his words | Inquirer Sports

Pacquiao makes Rios trainer eat his words

/ 11:57 PM November 24, 2013

In this Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013 photo released by The Venetian Macao, Brandon Rios of the United States, accompanied by his trainer Robert Garcia, left, arrives at the main lobby of the Venetian Macao in Macau. Rios and Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao are scheduled to fight in their welterweight match at the casino on Nov. 24. (AP Photo/The Venetian Macao)

MACAU—After watching Manny Pacquiao’s demolition of Brandon Rios on Sunday, trainer Robert Garcia readily took back his words that the Filipino ring icon is now past his prime.

“Pacquiao still has a lot of fight in him,” Garcia said during the post-fight conference of Pacquiao-Rios. “He can fight for a long time.”

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It was a sudden twist from Garcia’s earlier claim that Pacquiao is on the decline and will be vulnerable to Rios’ nonstop lunges.

Pacquiao proved Garcia, named the 2012 Trainer of the Year, wrong and way off the mark.

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According to Garcia, Pacquiao had a game plan and executed it well.

Actually, Garcia thinks highly of Pacquiao, whom he said could have beaten Floyd Mayweather Jr. had they fought three or four years ago.

The twin losses Pacquiao absorbed, especially his shocking knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez, made Garcia change his mind.

With the way Pacquiao brought his fighter to school, however, Garcia again became a Pacquiao believer. Not only as a fighter, but as a human being.

Ever humble and forging, Pacquiao approached Rios and embraced him at the center of the ring as soon as the final bell sounded.

Despite the much-publicized scuffle between his trainer, Freddie Roach, and Team Rios, specifically Alex Ariza, on Wednesday, Pacquiao also greeted Garcia and even Ariza, who was caught on tape kicking Roach on the chest during the melee.

Pacquiao said we’re brothers and sisters.

“We must be forgiving.”

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TAGS: Boxing, Manny Pacquiao
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