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Garcia: Pacquiao’s age makes him vulnerable to Brandon Rios

By Chris Williams: Former WBA World lightweight champion Brandon Rios’ trainer Robert Garcia sees Manny Pacquiao as being ripe for the picking for his fighter 26-year-old Rios to beat next year, and Garcia sees Pacquiao having problems with Rios’ fighting style/youth.

Garcia said to RingTV “I think Brandon’s style combined with Pacquiao’s age and all of that, we might be able to pull off a surprise.”

Garcia sees Rios as a younger version of Antonio Margarito, who gave Pacquiao a lot of problems with his body punching at the tail end of Margarito’s career. Garcia said “The only difference is Rios is 10 years younger than Margarito, which could be the difference in a fight with Pacquiao.”

I think Garcia is right. Rios is a younger, faster and better version of Margarito. We saw what Margarito did against Pacquiao two years ago with his body punching. It looked at one point in the 6th round that Pacquiao was going to go down after Margarito nailed him with a hard right hand body shot. Margarito was too slow to realize that he had Pacquiao hurt and on the verge of going down, otherwise he could have jumped on him and take him out with a flurry of shots.

The Pacquiao-Rios fight will definitely get made next year if Pacquiao can get past Juan Manuel Marquez on December 8th. Their promoter Bob Arum wants the Pacquiao vs. Rios fight, because it’s an easy in house fight for him to make, and one that would increase Rios’s value as a fighter. It’s the smart thing for Arum to do, because it’s pretty clear that Rios is little more than a limited slugger. He was beaten so easily by Richard Abril earlier this year in a fight where Rios’ limitations as a fighter were brought to light. Arum needs to put Rios in a big fight before he’s exposed by someone else.

Right now, Arum has boxing fans drinking the cool-aid after Rios defeated another one of his unproven Top Rank stable fighters Mike Alvarado last Saturday night. The casual boxing fans, and even a certain amount of the hardcore fans, didn’t realize that Alvarado was always a flawed fighter to begin with. Alvarado barely beat Breidis Prescott and looked just as awful against Mauricio Herrera. As such, Rios’ win over Alvarado didn’t prove anything other than the fact that he can beat one of Arum’s over-hyped Top Rank stable fighters.

Rios might not be all that good, but he’s got enough youth to defeat what’s left of the depleted Pacquiao if Arum makes the mistake of matching Rios up against him next year.

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