California welterweight Brandon ‘Bam Bam’ Rios(33-2-1, 24KO’s) was in the gym with his trainer Robert Garcia when Elie Seckbach from Esnewsreporting.com asked him about the May 2nd meeting between Floyd Mayweather Jr(47-0, 26KO’s) and Manny Pacquiao(57-5-2, 38KO’s) for the WBA Super, WBC and WBO World welterweight titles.
Rios shared the ring with Pacquiao at the end of 2013 in the Filipino’s first fight back after getting knocked out almost twelve months before by his long-term nemesis Juan Manuel Marquez. Rios is intimately familiar with him and so seemed the perfect man to ask about what tactics he needs to impose in order to get success against Mayweather.
“Manny needs to come out and just pressure the fuck out of him, just throw punches from different angles, many punches not just one. Just be on his ass like Maidana did. Just don’t let him breathe, don’t let him get that thinking mode cuz once you let him think he got you.”
Marcos Maidana -gym-mate to Rios under Garcia- fought 24 rounds with Floyd in 2014 and with each minute that passed by he had less and less success. He tried to crowd and rough-house, trying anything legal or otherwise to ruffle the champion’s immaculate feathers. The first four rounds in their first fight were Maidana’s best, but as he slowed, and Floyd began to process his patterns like a supercomputer and adjust accordingly, his chances diminished rapidly. Maidana could not sustain his early onslaught, and Floyd began to time him; there was no chance after that. From Rios’s perspective, if Pacquiao can keep up a similar kind of aggression for a longer time than Maidana was able to, he could be in with a chance.
Rios then flipped the script, envisaging for us what Floyd needs to do in order to get the win, and his answer is remarkably similar to a lot of other professional boxers who have been asked the same question.
“Mayweather needs to do nothing he hasn’t done already. He’s good at what he does. What, 47 people have tried? And he’s just beat them all, different styles, different opponents. I think what he needs to do is keep doing what he’s doing. Be sharp, be elusive and be explosive.”.
Being able to conquer so many individuals, who each bring different attributes that have been effective enough in previous outings to get them to a fight with Floyd, is what separates the man from his peers. It may take a few rounds to figure them out but eventually he gets them all. There is nothing to suggest Floyd isn’t capable of the same kind of performance in this fight when all the hoopla and hype is ignored for a moment. It is the kind of consistency that Pacquiao certainly has been able to attain.
Floyd and Pacquiao not only top Rios’s division but also the entire sport and this fight has been a long time coming. They are an entity apart from all who surround them and we saw what happened when Rios -a former world champion- lost in such comprehensive fashion to Pacquiao just how far ahead of the pack they really are, and Manny is the underdog in this fight. We will see how much of a gap if any, exists between the two when they meet up.