SAN DIEGO, November 22, 2013 – After months of anticipation, international media tours, training camp and Fight Week events including fireworks between the trainers, in just a few hours fans will finally see the biggest bout of the fall 2013 boxing season, Manny Pacquiao versus Brandon Rios in Macau, China, “The Clash in Cotai.”
Eight division champion Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KOs) and former lightweight titlist Ríos (31-1-1, 22 KOs) will compete for the WBO World Welterweight Title on HBO pay per view Saturday November 23, at 9 p.m. ET. This is HBO’s first pay-per-view event outside of the U.S.
Communities Digital News will host a live online chat starting at 7 p.m. ET with the televised undercard fights.
After an eventful week, both Pacquiao and Rios made weight for the fight. The weigh-in took place at 7:30 a.m. in Macau to accommodate American media and live TV. Pacquiao weighed in at 145 pounds even; Rios at 146.5 pounds. On stage, the pair were calm and respectful with each other. Rios received boos, and after he stepped off the scale, he egged on the crowd’s catcalls.
But Rios can’t keep his famous mouth quiet for long, calling out Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach for trash talking him about making weight. “
“This message goes out to Freddie Roach who said I’m a bum, I’m a fat loser and I can never make weight — guess what, I made weight, I feel great,” Rios said.
“When you doubt me you make me stronger. (They) are worried, I’m not worried, I feel confident.”
Roach laughed off the comment, saying Rios struggled to make it even though he had now moved up two weight divisions in three fights. “If he can’t make 147 he’s a joke,” Roach said. “He almost couldn’t make 135 or 140 and even at 147 he struggled every day, he had plastics on. This is a world title fight, you make weight.”
The comments followed a week in which the Rios and Pacquiao camps got into an ugly exchange of words at the training facility in Macau where they are sharing ring time. After Thursday’s news conference, Rios had the facilities booked from 9 to 11 p.m.; Pacquiao had the following two hours.
Rios and his team started their session due to a delay wrapping up their news conference. When Roach arrived, he got hot with Rios trainer Robert Garcia for overstaying their assigned time. It escalated into an ugly shouting match, joined with gusto by Rios’ strength coach Alex Ariza who used to work with Roach and Pacquiao.
Ariza made fun of Roach’s Parkinson’s disease and in the scuffle, kicked Roach in the chest before security separated everyone. Roach fired off some coarse comments of his own; Garcia called him a racist. “Now it’s personal, f****r.” It was all caught on video by multiple media including HBO. Garcia later apologized for his camp’s behavior. Be aware before opening the video link here that the language is raw and uncensored, not for the kiddies.
It has been two years since Manny Pacquiao won a fight, and 11 months since his shocking knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez. Brandon Rios is also coming off a loss, a unanimous decision to Mike Alvarado, the first of his career.
Both fighters feel they have a lot to prove. Pacquiao not only wants to get his career back on track, he has been given extra motivation by the devastation suffered in his native Philippines following Hurricane Haiyan. Pacquiao had dedicated the fight to his country.
An elected Congressman from his home province of Sarangani, Pacquiao told Associated Press “I really want to visit the area and personally do what I can to help our countrymen who have suffered so much in this terrible tragedy, but I’m in deep training for a crucial fight so I regret I cannot go,” he said to the Associated Press.
Rios is a crowd-pleasing fighter who loves to bring the action. He likes to hit, and he likes getting hit. Rios has proved he can take tremendous punishment while dishing it out. He isn’t afraid of anyone. He wants to show the world he’s the real deal and deserves to be in the ring with one of the world’s all-time greatest boxers and a future Hall of Famer.
Who will prevail? Read our predictions in our next column.
Communities Digital News will keep you up to date with all of the latest news and developments right up to fight time Saturday. For the fight we will host a Live Online Chat start with the televised undercard fights at right here starting at 7 p.m. ET We provide blow by blow live commentary and real-time photos and invite you to share your reaction to all the action. See you ringside on Saturday.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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