MACAU – Manny Pacquiao may not be saying it, but from the looks of it, even the Philippine boxing pride is already getting annoyed with the way the group of Brandon Rios is acting.
Freddie Roach bared on Thursday the Filipino ring icon is looking to finish off Rios quickly in their 12-round welterweight showdown Sunday, in part to get even with them for what they did against the man who has nurtured Pacquiao's career over the past 12 years.
“Manny Pacquiao has never done that to me in my life. He wouldn’t say it in public, but he did give me two, and he told me, 'Freddie, we have to take care of this guy quickly,'” said Roach shortly before presiding over Pacquiao’s afternoon training at the makeshift gym located at the lower level of the Venetian Hotel.
They Said It!
"The most motivating thing for me was when he told me, `Freddie, are these the guys who made fun of you on TV?' And I said, 'Yes.’ And he said, 'Okay,' and then he walked away. That’s all he needs to know,” - Freddie Roach on his talk with Manny Pacquiao after the altercation between him and the camp of Brandon Rios.
Roach made the disclosure just a day after being involved in a scuffle with former strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza and engaging Rios trainer Robert Garcia in a shouting match.
[For full story, see Roach scuffles with Rios' trainer, conditioning coach Ariza]
The incident with Garcia was the second between him and Roach in three years, the first taking place in 2010 when Rios, Garcia, and Antonio Margarito were caught on tape mocking the 53-year-old trainer who is afflicted with Parkinson’s disease.
Roach was more than glad to know that Pacquiao is picking up the cudgels for him.
“The most motivating thing for me was when he told me, `Freddie, are these the guys who made fun of you on TV?' And I said, 'Yes.’ And he said, 'Okay,' and then he walked away. That’s all he needs to know,” Roach said of his conversation with the eight-time world champion.
Personally, Roach predicted Rios will be going down by the sixth round. But as the day of the fight nears, he sees an even quicker ending for the brash-talking American.
“After last Monday’s workout, when he (Rios) punches like that, we might be going four,” said Roach, a five-time Trainer of the Year. “I’m not a big fan of Brandon Rios. I don’t think he’s a good fighter. I think he’s a tough guy, and I don’t think tough guys win fight, a good boxer wins fight.”