Brandon Rios is relatively unknown compared to some of the other potential opponents Manny Pacquiao wanted to fight next, so it’s understandable why the reaction to their fight announcement was a bit muted. That being said, despite the fact that he’s coming off a loss, Rios is one of the most promising and gritty boxers in the game today. It’s debatable whether he can beat Pacquiao, but it’s a lock that he’ll entertain either way.
During a recent interview with On The Ropes Radio (via Doghouse), Rios pledged to make his upcoming showdown against Pacquiao as interesting as possible.
“All out war, it's gonna be an all out war,” the 26-year-old said, when asked about what fans could expect in November. “I think it will be a bloody mess, he's gonna go crazy, I'm gonna go crazy, it’s just gonna be a great fight you know. I say a war, a bloody war, that's what it’s going to be.”
Rios also understands that, by agreeing to fight overseas, he essentially signed up for a battle in enemy territory. Although they’re not fighting in the Philippines, the fans in Macao are expected to heavily prefer Pacquiao to the guy he’s squaring off against. And while Rios would obviously love to be the hometown favorite, he’s ready to handle business either way.
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“Probably not you know, honestly,” Rios replied, when asked about whether he’s expecting to hear a lot of support in Macao. “All I know is that I do have fans out there in the UK, I know that for sure, everybody out there in London, England, everybody out there in the UK I know I've got a lot of fans out there, and thanks to them for supporting me. It’s not just from the way I box, it’s things that I do outside in the community and everything, so thanks to them for that. I know I'm ready.
“I know that when I go to China its gonna be mostly his fans out there because everybody cheers Manny Pacquiao on, so it will be great as well, just to visit China. I'm not really worried about that, that's not gonna be a distraction, I'm ready to show the world what I can do, because when I fight the best, I think the best comes out of me.”
This is an absolutely huge fight for all involved. Pacquiao sees this as a way to make everyone forget about that brutal knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez last December, and a way to change fans’ perception of his career trajectory. If he wins, he’s back in the discussion for a match against Floyd Mayweather Jr. If he loses, it’s game over.
Meanwhile, although Rios doesn’t have as much at stake, he too is fighting for respect. Coming off his defeat to Mike Alvarado, the youngster wants to show that he has what it takes to beat down a legend. And if he is able to take down arguably the biggest star from the last decade, he’ll instantly catapult himself into the discussion of boxing’s top-tier stars.