Manny Pacquiao and his team leave Monday for Macau, six days before the former pound-for-pound king faces Brandon “Bam-Bam” Rios in a return bout at the Cotai Arena.
Pacquiao, along with training staff Freddie Roach, assistants Marvin Somodio, Buboy Fernandez, Nonoy Neri and Roger Neri will fly directly to Macau from General Santos City on a private plane.
Roach said the eight-weight division world champion is 90 percent ready to go and he already set aside his previous sixth round knockout loss against Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez last year.
“He has definitely put the knockout behind him,” Roach told hustleboss.com writer Chris Robinson over the weekend. “Manny Pacquiao knows that the knockout is part of the sport. He realizes that if you aren’t able to handle the knockout you picked the wrong sport.”
“He is totally recovered and is brave as ever in the ring.”
Pacquiao (54-5-2 win-loss-draw card with 38 knockouts) took his last sparring session last Saturday and Roach considered that his fighter is ready to redeem himself.
Although the Mexican-American Rios (31-1-1 with 23 knockouts) said that he will retire Pacquiao for good, Roach believes that Pacquiao’s speed and power will prevail over Rios.
“Manny has looked great in training. I know people are skeptical about him but knockouts are what they are. Manny Pacquiao is a realist. He understands it is part of the sport. He’s been knocked out twice before,” added Roach.
“So he accepts that and I don’t think it’s going to affect him at all. But we probably won’t know until the fight.”
JOSEF T. RAMOS