Manny Pacquiao during fight week in Macau (Photo: Chris Farina – Top Rank)
We are less than 48 hours away from boxing’s next big event, as former eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao will square off with former lightweight titlist Brandon Rios inside of the Venetian Resort’s Coati Arena in Macau, China on Saturday night.
No stranger to the world-class stage, boxing great Roy Jones Jr. assessed the matchup with me during a recent rapid-fire discussion.
“That’s a good fight,” Jones claimed. “Pacquiao is clearly the better boxer. Rios is clearly the better brawler. If Pacquiao can make it a boxing match, he wins easily. If Rios can make it a brawl, he can probably can win.”
The left-handed stylist from the Philippines, Pacquiao is a clear favorite heading into his match with the all-action Rios.
The fact that he was knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez this past December has left Pacquiao with a slight aura of uncertainty as he nears his 62nd professional bout.
Still, Jones believes that Pacquiao, who turns 35 next month, has the right kind of focus needed to get the job done.
“Mentally he’s hungry and wants to prove that he can still get back to the top of his sport,” stated Jones of the Filipino icon. “Any fighter is a competitor who wants to prove that they can always come back and be what they once was. I think Pacquiao’s head is good and if Rios beats him, it won’t be because of the previous knockout. It will be because Rios tricked him into a dog-type fight and beat him.”
PLEASE CHECK BELOW for the full interview with Tim Bradley as well as more exclusive Pacquiao-Bradley updates…
Tim Bradley talks Pacquiao vs. Rios: ‘Freddie Roach always plays mental games’
Roy Jones Jr. – ‘Pacquiao is clearly the better boxer; Rios is clearly the better brawler’
Marco Antonio Barrera believes that Manny Pacquiao’s movement will be key against Rios
Freddie Roach sees flaws in Floyd Mayweather’s game and hopes Pacquiao can one day face him
Mike Alvarado: ‘I’ve got Pacquiao in a later stoppage against Rios’
Floyd Mayweather Sr. reacts to the brawl between Freddie Roach and Alex Ariza
Freddie Roach opens up on the confrontation with Team Rios, his racist comments, and the aftermath
Near brawl in Macau as Freddie Roach confronts Team Rios and gets kicked by Alex Ariza
Manny Pacquiao showing off his speed and power in Macau ahead of showdown with Rios
Manny Pacquiao full core workout in Macau, China days before clash with Brandon Rios
Manny Pacquiao opens up on his training for Rios, Brandon’s power, the Typhoon in the Philippines, and more
Freddie Roach calls Brandon Rios a ‘pretender’ and eyes Floyd Mayweather for Manny Pacquiao
Shawn Porter feels the old Manny Pacquiao will return against Brandon Rios
Brandon Rios believes that his pressure will negate Manny Pacquiao’s speed
Miguel Diaz says Pacquiao’s knockout loss to Marquez ‘means nothing’; favors him over Rios
Juan Manuel Marquez favors Pacquiao over Brandon Rios but shoots down a fifth fight with Manny
Brandon Rios says people in China don’t like Manny Pacquiao
Gennady Golovkin feels Brandon Rios could suffer the same fate as Margarito did against Pacquiao
Robert Garcia opens up on Alex Ariza joining Team Rios; insists he won’t take any drama in camp
Chris Robinson can be reached at Trimond@aol.com