MACAU – Whether he runs, hides, or swings back, trainer Freddie Roach said Manny Pacquiao is prepared for whatever Brandon Rios brings to the table on Sunday afternoon.
“We have our plan and we have no problem,” said Roach, relaxed and smiling a lot on the eve of the first ever fight the Filipino ring star will be holding in the entertainment capital of Asia.
While many believed Rios, 27, is going to box his way against one of the hardest hitting punchers in boxing history, Roach thinks otherwise.
A known slugger, the American fighter, according to Roach, will be tempted to exchange with Pacquiao once he feels the power of the former eight-time world champion.
“I felt that once Manny hits him, he will revert back to what he is, and he will swing back,” said the five-time Trainer of the Year, who sports a Nike white-shirt that has the words `Hope: Together We Rise’ prominently printed at the front.
And neither will Pacquiao have a problem once Rios starts backpedalling, with Roach pointing out that the tough-talking fighter from Oxnard, California is not trained to run.
“I don’t think he can run that well because he’s not fast. I expect him to move away and land into the ropes and suck Manny into the ropes. We are well-prepared for that,” said Pacquiao’s longtime trainer.
“He might land in the ropes and move a little bit, but he doesn’t have the tools to really run, to move. He’s not a sleek boxer. He never has been.”
Aware that all bases are well-covered, Roach is sticking to his earlier forecast that Rios will be ripe for the picking before the midway point of the 12-round welterweight bout.
“Six or less,” said the 53-year-old trainer before walking away.