“Let’s go 10 more rounds, Erick,” Brandon ‘Bam Bam’ Rios said when he rocketed the last big punch at left-hander Erick DeLeon in his workout Saturday at the Venetian Macau. Hall of Fame trainer Robert Garcia got into the ring, separated the two fighters and said “that’s it, Brandon. No more sparring. All of your sparring is over. We’re ready to fight Manny Pacquiao.”
After five months of training, over 150 rounds of sparring against assorted fighters, Rios wound up his eight rounds of sparring before a gathering of reporters and HBO’s 24/7 cameras. “That phase of our training – sparring – is now over,” Garcia said.
DeLeon, who did quick, wicked side to side movement, said Rios “snapped off power punches. Yes, they were hard punches and they hurt. It’s part of the game. “Rios blocks a lot of punches and counters well,” DeLeon added. “If he catches Manny in his rhythm there’s going to be big trouble for MP.”
Rios said “I want to fight the best and Manny Pacquiao is one of the best in boxing today. I need to beat him to get where I want to go. I am younger, can fight hard at center ring, can take a punch and I am ready, focused. Pacquiao years ago was in the same situation I am today.”
“When the first bell rings, Pacquiao will not be charging right at Brandon,” Garcia said. “Pacquiao will want Rios to come to him and exchange. We know it that’s the way its going to be.”
Pacquiao vs Rios will be at the CotaiArena inside the Venetian Macau on Saturday, November 23.
On Sunday, Rios will visit young local fighters at the Macau Boxing Association gym.