MANILA, Philippines – Former lightweight champion Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios says Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao made a mistake in choosing to fight him, and guarantees the Filipino ring icon will realize this once they touch gloves on November 24 in Macau.
It was announced last week that Pacquiao will be making his ring return against Rios, a hard-hitting brawler who has only lost one fight in his professional career.
In an interview with Boxing Scene, Rios said the Pacquiao camp likely picked him because he was coming off his first professional loss.
“He picked me because I lost,” Rios said, referring to his unanimous decision setback against budding rival Mike Alvarado late in March.
“They probably think, ‘Brandon is easy to hit. Brandon gets hit all the time’,” he added. “But it’s a very different story when you get in the ring with me.”
Rios is determined not only to bounce back from his first career loss, but also to show that he has what it takes to keep up with a fighter of Pacquiao’s caliber.
“I’ve been waiting for this fight all my life,” he said. “They made a mistake picking me. This is my chance to show what I can do with a great fighter in front of me.”
But in order to beat Pacquiao, an eight-division world champion and a former pound-for-pound king, Rios acknowledged that he may have to change his tactics.
“I gotta come out in a smarter way. I’ve got to fight different that I usually do, because Pacquiao can hurt you,” he said. “He’s got a good knockout percentage.”
At the same time, Rios is positive that he can force the “Pacman” to fight his fight.
“When I’m inside the pocket, that’s my game. I can fight very well. I’ve proven it,” Rios said.
The November bout against Rios will be Pacquiao’s first since getting knocked out by Mexican rival Juan Manuel Marquez in the sixth round of their fourth bout last December 2012 in Las Vegas.