MANNY PACQUIAO dismissed any suggestion that he is past best at the first US press conference to promote his November 23 showdown with Brandon Rios. It will be his first appearance since arch rival Juan Manuel Marquez knocked him cold in December last year.
“I didn’t pick an easy opponent because I believe that in the last fight many people are thinking my boxing career is at an end,” Pacquiao, 34, explained in New York City’s Jing Fong Restaurant.
“But I’ll tell you this, in the last fight my condition was amazing. My condition was one of the best in my boxing career. It just happened that in the sixth round I got too careless and too aggressive and he got me with a good shot. But if we review the fight my condition was one of the best I’ve had, that’s why I chose Brandon Rios. I know he’s a good fighter, he throws a lot of punches and he’s a very aggressive fighter. I chose him because I believe he can give a good fight on November 23. There’s going to be more action in the ring and I can prove that I can still fight and my boxing career isn’t done yet.”
Rios is coming off a loss too - an entertaining rematch with Mike Alvarado – and will be the underdog when the fighters collide in Macau, China
“I’m ready to fight,” declared the 27-year-old. “I’m gonna be the next superstar on the rise… I’m ready 100 per cent. This is the first press conference I’ve been through where nobody’s talking smack. Everybody’s been very respectful. I appreciate it. I was waiting for it but it never happened. If nobody’s gonna step up, I’m not gonna step up because they’re going to point the finger at the bad guy.”
Rios’ trainer, Robert Garcia, shared his charge’s enthusiasm.
“Come November 23, Brandon Rios is gonna come out to surprise the world.”
For more from Pacquiao and Rios download this week's Boxing News HERE