At high noon Nov. 24 in Macau, what Brandon Rios expects to see in the ring is the Manny Pacquiao that bedazzled Oscar De La Hoya, toppled the mighty Ricky Hatton and slayed the giant Antonio Margarito.
This is the belief of Rios’ chief trainer Robert Garcia, who is fully aware of the dangers of facing somebody whose legacy and future is on the line.
“For him (Pacquiao), it’s do or die so we have to be ready for the best Pacquiao,” Garcia said during a recent teleconference call.
“We just can’t jump in there and think we are going to be the better guy…We can’t go in there thinking it’s going to be easy,” said Garcia, obviously aware that despite suffering a sixth-round knockout to Juan
Manuel Marquez in his last fight, the 34-year-old Filipino doesn’t deserved to be counted out.
To get ready for Pacquiao, Garcia asked his father Eduardo to craft a gameplan that will propel Rios to victory in the scheduled 12-round welterweight war at The Venetian’s CotaiArena.
“My dad and I have put together a great game plan for Rios and we have been watching the Pacquiao tapes together. That is something that everybody expects us to do and we just might do that. We don’t know what Pacquiao has coming out. But we also have to be smart,” he said.
Garcia said that if Rios doesn’t veer away from the script, his hand is going to get raised.
“If Brandon follows instructions and does everything we tell him to do, the sparring partners have been very helpful, so we should come out with good results.”
The fight will be held at around lunchtime in Macau to accommodate the primetime US pay-per-view audience, according to Top Rank head Bob Arum, who is joining hands with casino operator Sands China.
Rios is set to arrive in Macau on Nov. 13 so he can shake off jet lag and adjust to the local time, while Pacquiao will get there on Nov. 18 on board a private jet that will pick him up in General Santos City.
Formal arrival rites will be done on Nov. 19 followed by the lone press conference on Nov. 20. (Nick Giongco)