Pacquiao completely focused on Rios
MANILA, Philippines – Former world champion Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios revealed last week that he believes Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao, his opponent for November 24, is already counting him out ahead of their 12-round welterweight showdown.
“(Trainer) Freddie Roach is counting me out, Pacquiao is counting me out, some of the HBO people are counting me out,” Rios said in a profanity-laced interview with Hustle Boss.
But during a conference call in General Santos City last weekend, Pacquiao insisted that he is completely focused on his fight against Rios and is not looking ahead to any potential bouts.
“My training for this fight has been unique, and my training camp has been very long for this fight,” said Pacquiao. “My preparation has been going very well, so I think it is going to be an exciting fight.”
“I have given over 100% to my preparation for this fight,” he said.
When asked what he will do next, assuming he beats Rios, Pacquiao answered: “Right now, I am not thinking about the next fight. What I have right now is focus on my training and preparation for Rios, so I can be sure that victory is mine.”
Pacquiao was also asked about the possibility of fighting his former sparring partner, Ruslan Provodnikov of Russia, who became a world champion after beating Mike Alvarado recently.
“No, I have not (thought about fighting Provodnikov),” Pacquiao said. “I am focused on the fight on November 23rd, and not thinking about anything else.”
Top Rank chief executive Bob Arum was informed of Rios’ comments that Pacquiao was “looking past him,” but the promoter said it was only “wishful thinking” on the part of Rios.
“I can assure you that Manny is focusing solely on Brandon Rios,” said Arum. “The one thing a fighter can do that will hurt him is to look at a future opponent, instead of the opponent he is facing.”
“I believe that Manny is looking solely at Brandon, and I think Brandon is looking solely at Manny,” he added.
Pacquiao will be attempting to snap a two-fight losing streak when he gets in the ring against Rios, a come-forward fighter who is known for his knockout power.
“That’s what I want – his style of fighting,” said Pacquiao. “He likes to come inside and I like that style. I don’t like to chase, and I’m pretty sure I won’t have to chase him.”