A number of boxers believe that Brandon “Bam-Bam” Rios won’t be able to handle Manny Pacquiao’s speed and power when the two collides on November 23 at the Cotai Arena in Macau, China.
Filipino world champions Donnie “Ahas” Nietes and Merlito “The Tiger” Sabillo, Pacquiao’s archrival Juan Manuel Marquez, undefeated American Timothy Bradley and former world champion Roberto Duran all said that Rios is still inferior to the former pound-for-pound king.
“Naturally, Pacquiao is faster, stronger and powerful than Rios. If ever the fight goes the distance, Rios has a chance but I don’t think it will happen. Rios will be beaten up to a pulp,” World Boxing Organization (WBO) light flyweight champion Nietes told The Manila Times in a phone interview.
“Rios basically doesn’t have the speed and power although he likes to attack his opponent,” said Sabillo, the WBO minimum weight champion. “But Pacquiao is very different and he proves it every time. Rios can’t simply match the speed, stamina and power of Manny.”
Meanwhile, Pacquiao’s archrival Marquez said that Rios (31-1-1 win-loss-draw record with 23 knockouts) must be a precise fighter to score an upset against the PacMan.
“Rios must be too mechanical to beat Pacquiao. Pacquiao is fast and strong and he can deal with these types of opponents anytime,” Marquez told www.boxingscene.com writer Salvador Rodriguez on Friday.
“We could probably see the best of Rios. He may become stronger or even faster but it doesn’t mean that a fighter who is mechanical will have the necessary speed to beat Pacquiao,” he added.
Bradley, who defeated Pacquiao via split decision in June 2012, warned Rios that Pacquiao will be as deadly as before since the Filipino wants to prove that he is not done yet as a boxer.
“This is not Mike Alvarado,” Bradley told reporter Julio Garcia of boxingvoice.com.
“Manny has speed and power. Expect Manny to be quick and elusive. He’s difficult to hit because he’s always angling out. Pacquiao will need to fight on angles. If Rios can close the distance, he might be successful.”
“The stars live in the sky. On Earth everyone is equal,” boxing legend Duran also told boxingvoice.com.
“I once was knocked out and I came back to win the title, so you can’t count him out. Pacquiao is still very dangerous. Rios need to protect himself at all times. I don’t believe Manny is finished, he’s still one of the most dangerous fighters in the world.”
Josef T. Ramos