MACAU – Robert Garcia, the trainer of Brandon Rios, believes Manny Pacquiao is no longer the same ferarsome fighter he once was.
But he thinks the Pacquiao of four to five years ago would have won against Floyd Mayweather had the two mega-stars of the sport met inside the ring.
“Four or five years ago, I pick Manny to beat Floyd,” admitted Garcia when asked during the scheduled roundtable interview with mediamen here on Thursday.
They Said It!
“Four or five years ago, I pick Manny to beat Floyd (Mayweather)... Not anymore.” - Brandon Rios' trainer Robert Garcia
Garcia, last year’s boxing Trainer of the Year, said the style of the 34-year-old Pacquiao would have been very effective against the fighting method of the unbeaten Mayweather.
“I thought Manny throws so many punches, and Floyd is so defensive, I thought Manny would win by decision,” he said.
But pressed if the outcome would still be the same if the two boxing icons get the chance to finally fight each other, Garcia easily had a change of heart.
“Not anymore, I think Floyd (will) win,” he said.
Pacquiao and Mayweather never got to fulfill what everybody in the world deemed as the richest boxing fight in history after camps of both fighters failed several times to agree on terms and conditions for the bout.
But Garcia stressed that while Pacquiao may be a tad a slower now, it doesn’t mean the Rios camp will already be taking the eight-time world champion lightly for their 12-round welterweight fight Sunday at the Cotai Arena.
“He’s not the same but he’s so good that he’s still good. He’s so good, so great at what he’s doing that he’s still very, very good,” said the 38-year-old trainer, himself a former world champion during his heydays as a boxer.
“We can’t think (lightly) because he not being the same means that he’s already completely done,” Garcia stressed.
“Pacquiao has got power, we had not seen the knockouts he had done, he hasn’t stop nobody since 2009, but he does have power. And we got to respect his power.”