Rios not looking to avenge Margarito
MANILA, Philippines – Former world champion Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios insists he is not looking for revenge when he takes on Filipino boxing icon Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao in a welterweight fight this November 24 in Macau.
Pacquiao battered Antonio Margarito, a good friend of Rios, when they fought in 2010, but Rios told the Los Angeles Times that he cannot enter the fight thinking of vengeance.
“I’m not thinking about revenge, this being a grudge, or that I’m mad,” said Rios. “If I went in there mad, I’d get knocked out.”
At the same time, Rios stressed that he is a different fighter from Margarito, who had a great size and reach advantage against Pacquiao but was utterly unable to deal with the Filipino’s speed and awkward punching angles.
“I respect him, love him like a brother, but me and Margarito are different,” said Rios. “He did things to hurt Pacquiao, and I saw things we’re going to counter off. Margarity had his own style.”
Moreover, the Pacquiao that Rios will face is different from the one who dominated Margarito. Since beating the Mexican, Pacquiao has been on somewhat of a slide, having lost his last two fights.
“Over the years, Pacquiao has slowed down,” said Rios. “He’s not as quick as he was. He doesn’t move around, he has leg cramps. He’s been in wars, after the (Juan Manuel) Marquez fight.”
“So we’re going to approach it different,” he added.
Rios’ trainer, Robert Garcia, also trained Margarito against Pacquiao and admits he had some shortcomings in the 2010 fight as well.
“Three years ago, we had a big opportunity with Antonio Margarito. I hate to say it, maybe I wasn’t as prepared as I am now,” he said.
With Rios, however, he believes that it is the “right moment,” considering the circumstances of the past two years
“Brandon is younger, hungry to get to that level,” he said. “Pacquiao has lost two fights. He should have knocked out Tim Bradley and was knocked out by Marquez. All those things can make a big difference.”