- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
- 0 Shares
Former lightweight titlist Brandon Rios has no intention of going all the way to Macau to just lose when he faces former eight-division titleholder Manny Pacquiao in a welterweight showdown on Nov. 23 (HBO PPV).
"I am going to China to win,” Rios said at his recent media day in Oxnard, Calif. “I am going to wear down Pacquiao like I do all of my opponents. If I get a knockout, good. I am physically strong and I am going to take it to him.
“My team -- [trainer] Robert Garcia and [manager] Cameron Dunkin -- believes in me. They have from the beginning. My dad, Manuel, has always believed in me and he's going to China with me.”
Rios (31-1-1, 22 KOs) is leaving for Macau on Nov. 11, which should give him plenty of time to adjust to the climate and the time change.
Although Rios has not engaged Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KOs) in much trash talk -- they have a lot of respect for each other -- he has made some pointed comments, especially toward Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s Hall of Fame trainer. Rios did it again at his media day.
"Let Freddie Roach know I am a man, I come for the win, the kill. Tell Freddie that -- I want him to know,” Rios said. “I am in the prime of my career, not like Pacquiao. I will be ready for Pacquiao. I have two smart men in my corner -- Robert and his father [Eduardo Garcia].”
Robert Garcia said he is also confident in Rios beating Pacquiao.
"We've been training three months and Brandon has better footwork, head movement, and hand speed,” Garcia said. “We are preparing to face the Manny Pacquiao who was so dominant a few years ago. We have a game plan to win this fight. Brandon is fully prepared and has the mental toughness to break down and beat Manny.”