Manny Pacquiao has been showered with praise ever since it was announced that his next opponent would be Brandon Rios. Whereas for several months after his now infamous knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez he was the subject of retirement rumors and the butt of many, many jokes, he immediately went from ‘underdog’ to ‘favorite’ when Rios was selected as his November foe.
It’s still unclear as to why Rios is being as undervalued as he currently is right now. This is a guy with one blemish on his record; he lost to someone via decision that he previously beat by way of knockout. It happens. His simplistic style has been criticized to no end over the past few weeks, with folks selectively forgetting how successful it has been for him up to this point. And, perhaps most interestingly, people are already chalking Pacquiao-Rios up to a win for the Filipino star – looking ahead to what the future holds as if his next match is more of a formality than legitimate hurdle.
Given all that, it’s understandable that Rios has been a bit peeved in recent weeks over how he is being underestimated. That annoyance manifested itself in him talking a bit of trash about Pacquiao.
“He's going to leave himself open and I'm going to catch his ass, and when I catch his ass, he's going to go down, because everybody don't appreciate my power,” Rios said. “They will appreciate it, though, in this fight.”
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Naturally, Pacquiao’s team couldn’t let that slide.
"It's America,” Koncz told Ring’s Lem Satterfield recently. “Everybody is entitled to their opinion, whether there is any substance to it or not.”
He added: "I hope that he tries to do what he's saying that he's going to do, and that way, the fans will get their money's worth.”
Two things: First all of all, this is the second time Koncz has employed the ‘America’ reference in his rebuttal. Technically, Pacquiao is fighting in Macao – so we should probably be applying their rules on speech to all comments made about the Filipino star. Secondly, he really doesn’t hope that Rios does what he says he’s going to do, because that would mean this fight will end up going like the Marquez fight did. And if this fight ends that way, Pacquiao’s career ends – period.
Frankly, Pacquiao would likely be better served forgetting bout trash talking Rios and simply getting back into the gym. You know, because according to recent reports, he hasn’t actually done that yet.