BRANDON Rios believes he has what it takes to beat boxing star Manny Pacquiao, whom he said is a has-been.
The brash former world champion made the boast during his media day workout on Thursday at the Robert Garcia Boxing Academy in Oxnard, California.
“I am in the prime of my career, not like Pacquiao,” said Rios.
Rios is 27, seven years younger than Pacquiao. And while he is coming off the first ever loss of his pro career in a 12-round unanimous decision against Mike Alvarado, Rios is fully aware his celebrated Filipino opponent dropped his last two fights against Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez, marking the longest losing streak in the Pacman’s career.
The American sports a 31-1-1 record with 22 KOs.
Rios' trainer Robert Garcia also believes Pacquiao is no longer the same fighter he once was when the volume-punching fighter from General Santos City was universally considered as the world’s top fighter, pound-for-pound.
“We are preparing to face the Manny Pacquiao who was so dominant a few years ago,” said Garcia, who also trains Filipino two-time world champion Nonito Donaire Jr. “We have a game plan to win this fight. Brandon is fully prepared and has the mental toughness to break down and beat Manny.”
Rios said he’s been training for three months to get himself in shape for the November 24 fight at The Venetian in Macau.
“I am going to wear down Pacquiao like I do to all of my opponents. If I get a knockout, good. I am physically strong and I am going to take it to him,” said the former World Boxing Association (WBA) lightweight champion.
At the same time, Rios also has some choice words for Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach, who he once ridiculed by trying to imitate the Hall of Famer afflicted with Parkinsons disease.
“Let Freddie Roach know I am a man. I come for the win, the kill. Tell Freddie that – I want him to know,” said the American.