Jerry Glick reporting: At first glance Chinatown in lower Manhattan seemed like an unusual place to hold a press conference for a fight between a Filipino, Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao, and a tough young brawler from Texas, Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios, but given the venue, Cotai Arena, Venetian Resort, Macao, Macao S.A.R., China, Jing Fong Restaurant on Elizabeth Street was perfect.
In an effort to bring some US media to ringside Top Rank Arum announced that he struck up a deal that would allow select media members to go to the show, stay in China at a fine hotel for a week, and fly home all for only $1500; actually, not a bad deal.
After talking with the fighters, this reporter is convinced that these two hungry warriors will put on a show. Why is the well accomplished Pacman hungry? Two losses in a row will do it to you; after burning up the boxing world, Manny Pacquiao lost a close decision to Tim Bradley then finally lost by devastating knockout to rival Juan Manuel Marquez in six rounds; and Rios suffered his first defeat as a pro, dropping a squeaker to Mike Alvarado who he had stopped in their first meeting. Both need men the win.
Pacquiao admitted that he needs to not just win, but he must win convincingly; “I need to win this fight,” said the former pound for pound king. “Not only winning, but winning convincingly.”
Rios could not be happier that he will face a fighter of Pacman’s level. “I want what he has,” he said. He admitted that he was surprised that he got the opportunity to face Pacquiao.
“I was surprised because when I lost to Alvarado I thought I’d have to work my way back up the ladder,” admitted Bam Bam. “But they told me I got the fight and I was very pleased. I think he made a mistake picking me right now because I’m hungry and I’m an animal in the ring, and I want what he has, and I want to be the best.” Does Rios predict a knockout? He just said, "I’m going to finish him," to answer what will happen when they meet.
The will fight at 10 AM, Sunday morning in China so it can be watched here on Saturday night on HBO pay per view.
Staging the fight in China, according to Top Rank head man, Bob Arum, is not just to open doors, he said that it is going to be the most profitable venue for this fight. And yes, he would return to this locale and Singapore as well, "They’re building a fifty thousand seat arena with a retractable roof there," he added.
August 6, 2013