Brandon Rios says Manny Pacquiao no longer gives him the creeps.
Unlike in the past when Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KOs) was bringing down his foes with the coolness of a hired gun, Rios (31-1-1, 23 KOs) said the Filipino icon is no longer the fearsome puncher he was a couple of years back.
”When I was a lightweight champ, and when he was dominating, I’ll admit it right now, I said at that time if we ever fought, Pacquiao would f_ck me up,” Rios told hustleboss in a story that appeared yesterday in the runup to their Nov. 24 encounter in Macau.
As Pacquiao logged more mileage through the years, the 27-year-old Rios was able to sense his decline.
“At that time I said that. I think he’s getting older. I’m young and I got more experience, more knowledge now. I think it’s the opposite now. I think I can take him out.”
Rios, who has been training like hell under the watchful eyes of Robert Garcia and conditioning coach Alex Ariza in Oxnard, California, is leaving for Macau on Nov. 11 so he can get used not only to the local weather and the change in time zone as well.
But Rios is going to give the media a sneak-peek into his buildup when he conducts an open workout on Oct. 31.
Rios will be coming in as the heavy underdog in the scheduled 12-round welterweight war before an expected capacity crowd of 15,000 at the CotaiArena.
By the time Pacquiao answers the bell, he would be three weeks shy of his 35th birthday and almost a year removed from his last ring appareance.
And this one of the reasons why Rios feels he can get the job done.
“Just because he has a big name, that don’t mean sh..t to me.”