Robert Garcia speaking in San Antonio, Tex. (Photo: Chris Robinson – www.HustleBoss.com)
By Chris Robinson
On Nov. 23, former lightweight titlist Brandon Rios had a rough go of things when he stepped inside of the Venetian Resort’s Coati Arena in Macau, China to face off with Manny Pacquiao.
Rios was soundly out boxed over the course of twelve rounds by the Filipino icon, as Pacquiao was simply too sharp and active throughout the night as he pulled out a clear unanimous decision verdict.
In the wake of his second consecutive defeat, it remains to be seen how Rios will be guided come 2014.
Speaking with the Kansas native’s trainer Robert Garcia this week in San Antonio, Tex. ahead of the Adrien Broner vs. Marcos Maidana event at the Alamodome, he reflected on the Pacquiao setback.
“We did what we could,” stated Garcia, who trains Rios and Maidana out of his personal facility in Oxnard, Calif.
“Brandon tried everything possible,” Garcia added. “Pacquiao was just he better man that night. Pacquiao just came in and fought great, very fast. He did what he had to do. We can’t take anything away from Brandon. He did everything possible. He trained very hard; he was ready.”
Still highly-marketable because of his fan-friendly style and willingness to test himself against all comers, Rios will surely be looking for a strong comeback against a legitimate foe sometime next year.
Who that person may be seems to be a mystery to Garcia, however.
“There’s many things that Brandon can do,” Garcia stated. “[Rios’ manager] Cameron Dunkin is taking care of that. Cameron Dunkin is one of the best at what he does and he’ll get Brandon back. I don’t know against who or when, but Brandon will be back.”
As for Pacquiao, Garcia feels that the ideal fight for him is a rematch with WBO welterweight champion Tim Bradley, who edged him via a controversial split-decision in June of 2012.
Given Pacquiao’s excellent effort against Rios and Bradley’s spirited split-decision over Juan Manuel Marquez in October, Garcia feels the time for a second encounter is now.
“Pacquiao is a hell of fighter and I think that’s a fight that should be made,” said Garcia. “There was a lot of controversy in the first fight and it would be a great fight. Bradley’s looking better also; Bradley’s looking great. It’s a fight I would love to see.”
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Chris Robinson can be reached at Trimond@aol.com