Thursday, November 21, 2013
How fighters see Pacquiao-Rios
By Dan Rafael
With the Manny Pacquiao-Brandon Rios welterweight fight taking place Saturday night in Macau (HBO PPV, 9 ET), Top Rank promoter Bob Arum and HBO have set up a quasi-media center at the Venetian in Las Vegas and brought in more than a dozen radio shows to broadcast there Thursday and Friday in an effort to keep the fight on the minds of American sports fans.
In addition, they have brought in several fighters to do interviews on those radio programs and also to talk to other media. Among the fighters involved are Hall of Famers George Foreman and Sugar Ray Leonard, presumptive Hall of Famer Marco Antonio Barrera (who lost twice to Pacquiao) and reigning welterweight titlist Timothy Bradley Jr., who owns a controversial 2012 win against Pacquiao.
The four offered their thoughts on the Pacquiao-Rios fight:
• Foreman: I think it’s going to be a 12-round decision and I give Pacquiao the hometown decision. How about a home-region decision.
• Leonard: I think Pacquiao will win although I give Rios a shot, a big shot. It’s not going to be an easy fight. I’m picking Manny because he is Manny Pacquiao.
• Barrera: I think it is a complicated fight for both of them. You have Brandon Rios, who comes straight forward and will apply the pressure on Manny. Then you have Manny, who moves around the ring very well and picks and chooses his spots, and comes at different angles and is a very strong fighter with a lot of speed. It’s just going to be a tough fight for both of them.
• Bradley: I’ve got Manny Pacquiao by a mid- to late-round KO. Eight rounds.