By Chris Williams: Trainer Freddie Roach has another reason why he wants his fighter Manny Pacquiao to knockout Brandon Rios in their fight on November 23rd in Macau, China.
Rios was videotaped doing a poor imitation of Roach three years ago in which Rios was shaking in apparent mock of Roach’s Parkinson disease problem. It didn’t go over well with many boxing fans, and it clearly rubbed Roach the wrong way, although he says it didn’t really bother him all that much.
Roach said to ESPN’s Dan Rafael “They were trying to get under my skin, and they can do what they want. They can do all the shaking they want…this fight is going to be a great payback for me. I can’t wait for the fight. It’s the fight I wanted for Manny.”
I think Roach shouldn’t start counting his chicks before they’ve hatched because Pacquiao isn’t the same fighter he once was, and he very well could get knocked cold again if he gets nailed just right.
Sometimes trainers are the last to know that their fighter isn’t the same guy he used to be. Usually it’s the trainer that sees the slippage first in a fighter, but it looks like Roach is failing to grasp the reality of the situation. He’s doing Pacquiao no favors writing checks that he can’t cash by assuming he’s going to give Rios a thrashing.
After watching how bad Pacquiao looked in his last two fights against Tim Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez, I’m expecting him to lose this fight, and I think there’s a good chance he’ll get knocked out if he decides to fight Rios in a one-on-one manner.
Rios is actually the worst opponent you can put in with a guy like Pacquiao because the Filipino is going to want to trade with him, and that’s not a good thing to do when you’ve just been knocked out cold like Pacquiao was in his 6th round knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez last December. Rios lost his last fight to Mike Alvarado last March, but I think he would have won that fight had Alvarado stood in front of him and traded for 12 rounds.
I also think Rios would have won had he used his powerful jab a lot more when Alvarado was on the outside. He knows that now, and if Pacquiao decides he wants to use movement against Rios then he’s going to be getting nailed with a hard jab all night. Rios has the better jab by far, so Pacquiao is only going to have one way of fighting him and that’s by battling him in a toe-to-toe fight.