Recently ThaBoxingVoice interviewed former IBF super featherweight world champion and renowned trainer Robert Garcia on his fighter Brandon Rios’ pending fight with the icon that is Manny Pacquiao.
Rios will head into the fight with a record of 31 wins, 1 loss and 1 draw. Rios is most famous for his two-fight rivalry with Mike Alvarado which was thrilling viewing. A real throw back rivalry in which both fighters were prepared to go to war. Both fighters came out of the rivalry with a victory a piece.
Pacquiao a man who is world-famous and a legend of the sport heads into the fight with a record of 54 wins, 5 losses and 2 draws. He is coming off 2 losses in his last 2 fights and will want to show that he is still an elite level fighter.
When questioned on the match-up trainer Garcia said that its going to be a great fight and that Brandon has wanted this fight for a couple of years. Garcia feels that now is the perfect time for Rios as he is now more experienced.
Garcia also believes that although Rios is coming off a loss that he hasn’t really lost anything from it, as it was a fight of the year contender, and he is confident that the fight with Pacquaio will also be great as both men come to fight.
Garcia says that he and Rios will prepare for the best Pacquiao of about 4 or 5 years ago. Garcia says that some fighters never come back properly following a knock-out like that suffered by Pacquiao against Marquez but that some do and that they expect Pacquiao to.
When asked about testing Manny’s chin, Garcia said that Brandon punches hard and is very aggressive but that they have to come out with a good game-plan. He says that everyone knows the way that Brandon fights and they will see that again.
With Rios coming into this fight at welterweight rather than light-welterweight, he is expected to be stronger and Garcia expects to him to be much bigger than Manny. Despite this, Garcia reiterated that they needed to be careful because Manny is quick and powerful. He is however confident that Brandon will be a lot stronger at 147 lbs.
When asked about a prediction, Garcia said that it will be a great fight and that Brandon will come out and show the world what he can do and intends to retire Pacquiao.
This interview raises several interesting topics. Firstly, is Pacquiao the same fighter that he was a few years ago? For me Manny is not on the same level as he used to be. He is still a good fighter able to mix it with the best, but for me there are question marks as to if he is still able to beat the best.
There is no doubting that he is a legend of the sport as an 8 division world champion and has been involved in some great fights. He has beaten the likes of Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, Juan Manuel Marquez, Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto and Shane Mosley to name a few. He is an icon of the sport but for me is a faded fighter past his best.
Whether a faded Pacquiao is good enough to beat a 27 year old Brandon Rios is another question. I am still backing Manny to come through this fight and win. He looked good against Marquez until the knock-out punch and will be so determined to show what he can do. He will train as hard as ever and I am expecting him to perform well and win.
I can’t wait for this fight as it has so many question marks hanging over it. Is Pacquiao still an elite level fighter? Is Pacquiao’s heart and concentration still on boxing? Is this Pacquiao’s last fight?
Brandon Rios vs. Manny Pacquiao make or break!