The boxing world has already determined who will win this November’s showdown between Manny Pacquiao and Brandon Rios. Despite the fact that both men are coming off a loss and even though only one of them suffered a devastating knockout defeat in his last showing, Rios is apparently destined to fall.
Just look at how things have gone up to this point: the odds makers have him as a 3-to-1 underdog, the fans have already dismissed him as a one-trick pony and Pacquiao’s camp is already planning for 2014.
Of course, Rios wouldn’t have it any other way. The 27-year-old star knew exactly what he was signing up for when he agreed to this bout, and he’s already made it clear on numerous occasions that even though others may be counting him out, he isn’t intimidated by his foe’s accomplishments. Past achievements are just that – past achievements.
During a recent interview with Hustle Boss, Rios opened up about first taking note of Pacquiao when the Filipino star breezed through matches against Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto. However, even though he gave all involved due credit for their participation, Rios was quick to point out that the end result doesn’t tell the whole story.
“I’d rather fight somebody at their regular weight,” Rios said. “When he fought all these big guys, he fought them at a catch-weight. They had to lose so much weight to fight [him] and the next day they really didn’t gain that much weight. Look at De La Hoya for instance. And he only gained two pounds the next day? He couldn’t eat; he made him lose so much weight.”
Although some will inevitably disagree with this, it is not all that farfetched to suggest that Pacquiao reached his peak right around the Cotto fight. He looked good against Joshua Clottey and Antonio Margarito as well, but his decline became apparent in the Shane Mosley bout. It was less noticeable because Mosley spent so much time running away, but you could still see that Pacquiao didn’t have the same pep in his step. Somewhere between the Cotto and Margarito fight is when the Filipino star began to "lose it."
If Rios wasn’t intimated by Pacquiao prior to that Cotto bout, he certainly isn’t going to be intimidated by him now.