MACAO - Manny Pacquiao dedicated Sunday's world title bout against Brandon Rios to the typhoon-ravaged people of the Philippines, declaring on Wednesday night: "This fight is for you".
The Filipino great told a press conference ahead of his World Boxing Organisation welterweight title contest in Macau that his thoughts were with his people as they attempt to recover from Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) which smashed into the Philippines on November 8.
"I'm doing my best to win this fight and give a good fight especially with what happened to my countrymen," said 'Pacman', who has held world titles in eight weight divisions.
"To all the people and the families who have been affected by this storm, the typhoon -- this fight is for you."
More than 4,000 people were killed and up to 4.4 million displaced as a result of the record-breaking typhoon, which packed some of the strongest winds ever recorded by a storm making landfall.
Pacquiao and Rios showed great respect for each other during the press conference, in stark contrast to their respective trainers who were involved in an ugly expletive-laden physical confrontation in the gym at the Venetian Macau resort earlier on Wednesday.
"All I can say is both teams prepared for this fight. Let this finish in the ring and not in trash talk before the fight," Pacquiao said in a clear verbal swipe at what had happened earlier.
"Let's set a good example to all the people who admire boxing," he added.
"All I can say is this is sports. This is nothing personal, we are doing our job in the ring. Anyone who has a grievance should forgive as the Lord forgives."
The 27-year-old Rios meanwhile had no doubt he will beat Pacquiao, who turns 35 next month and has a record of 54 wins, five defeats and two draws in a pro-career spanning almost 19 years.
The American, a former lightweight world champion, declared he was in the shape of his life and should not be written off as merely a a "tune-up" for Pacquiao, who needs a victory after consecutive losses to Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez last year.
"This is the best shape I have ever been," Rios said. "I've been disciplined, I've been dieting, I've been doing every I have to do to win. I actually have followed the instruction of my corners, before I never did.
"They think I'm no problem," Rios said, looking at the Pacquiao entourage. "Sunday, I'll be a problem.
"I'm nobody's tune-up fight. I'm nobody's punching bag -- a punching bag don't punch back. Sunday you're going to find out I'm not going to stop. I'm a monster when I get in that ring."
The bout, dubbed the "Clash in Cotai", takes place on Sunday, November 24 at 10:00am in Macau (0200 GMT), 9:00pm Saturday night on the US east coast.
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