November 17th, 2013 By John Signorella

"Big trouble in little China"

“Big trouble in little China”

New York, NY- This Saturday night, the eyes of the combative sports world will be focused on the highly anticipated return of global superstar Manny Pacquiao‘s attempt to prove he’s still got the “goods” in a highly intriguing affair of consequence.


After being floored in emphatic and dramatic fashion in his last bout (more on that subject later), multidivisional champion Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KOs) looks for redemption when he faces durable rugged former champion Brandon ‘Bam Bam” Rios (31-1-1, 23 KOs) over 12 or less rounds of welterweight (147) pound at the Cotai Arena Venetian Resort in Macao, China. Televised coverage begins at 9:00 PM ET on HBO PPV.


Since his “coming out party” massacre against Marco Antonio Barrera (W TKO 11), Boxing Writers Association of America’s “Fighter of the Decade” Manny Pacquiao is the first boxer in history to win a staggering eight world titles in eight different weight divisions. Considering the level of opposition he has faced: thrice scrapping with Erik Morales (L UD 12, W TKO 10, W KO 3), four times going to war against Juan Manuel Marquez (D 12, W UD 12, W SD 12, L KO 6), and by pounding out one sided drummings over world renowned pugilists such as Oscar De La Hoya (W TKO 8), Ricky Hatton (W KO 2), Miguel Cotto (W TKO 11), Joshua Clottey (W UD 12), Antonio Margarito (W UD 12), and Shane Mosley (W UD 12), Manny’s ring endeavors have proven to be credible accolades in support of his status as an all-time great and living legend. And yes, even factoring in his last two losing efforts: (a horridly scored 12 round controversial points loss to Timothy Bradley followed by a brutal knockout defeat against Juan Manuel Marquez), rest assured; Pacquiao still has cemented his legacy as Hall of Famer regardless of those aforementioned current mishaps.

Pacquiao (left) getting nailed by a perfect counter shot by Marquez (right)

Pacquiao (left) getting nailed by a perfect counter shot by Marquez (right)


Many of “Pac’s” victims have been systematically broken down by “master” trainer Freddie Roach’s pre fight observations. Roach’s fight plans consist of strategies and tactics which are usually executed with relative ease by Pacquiao resulting in victory for the Filipino phenomenon. During such conquests, Manny has shown his own brilliant ring intellect by displaying an ability to control a foe by making an opponent fight his type of fight. On the contrary, (as seen in the early rounds against Cotto, and also in the mid rounds with Marquez); Manny (on occasion), can get caught up in the heat of the moment, become distracted, deviate from his predetermined fight plot (but to his credit, more often then not); make the adjustments necessary to beat his opponent at their own game. Nonetheless, Pacquiao’s style is a unique hybrid of aggressively fast paced boxing accompanied with sound defense. In consideration of his overall attributes of speed, power, movement, and genius boxing IQ, (at his best) Manny Pacquiao may not only be the game’s most complete fighter, he may be the most dangerous. Albeit, as suggested by several commendable media outlets in regard to his involvement in movies, music, religion, politics, and the mental state he may be in after administering such a savage knockout in his last encounter; Manny may be “burning the candle at both ends” and is possibly losing some focus toward his commitment in the “hurt business” that is boxing.


Possessing a highly entertaining “TV friendly style” equipped with a controversial personality, and by turning the “lights out” of 7 of his last 10 commendable opponents; youthful power punching charge Brandon Rios has dazzled his audience and has given fight fans some memorable nights at the fights. This observation was even more evident in his last 2 “balls to the wall” epic wars against seasoned former belt holder Mike Alvarado. In a scintillating showcase of human perseverance; Rio’s stopped Alvarado via 7th round TKO. However, the second tilt saw a more poised craftsman in Alvarado who tamed (what appeared to be) a clueless bull in Rios handing Brandon his first professional loss. Hence, success for Rios on Saturday night at the “big show” against a formidable opponent such as Pacquiao is a “must” and would certainly galvanize his career and command major notoriety for him in the upper stratosphere of the sport.

Rios (left) & Alvarado (right) going to Hell

Rios (left) & Alvarado (right) going to Hell


As seen in a recent tiff getting chastised in between rounds by his decorated trainer Roberto Garcia for being strafed by too many shots, (being the tremendously motivated and defiant individual that he is); Rios responded with, Quote: “I fucking love this shit”. Bottom line: Brandon has an exceptionally charismatic personally and that charisma is even more pronounced when he laces up the gloves for duty. This kind of willingness and joy to be battered and absorb punishment accompanied with the solid stubborn skill set he has in his arsenal makes “Bam Bam” a very dangerous hybrid of problems for anyone he faces. In other words he’s got the “Hell code” in him folks, meaning: he’s a dude that tries to take you to Hell and if need be; he’s willing to go there with you and is well aware that only one of you will make it out. The “Hell code” is a rare trait not found by many in the difficult sport of boxing, but is a necessary quality to have and great card to play if needed at any level.


When I hafta equate an “all-time great” who was recently humbled by a catastrophic set back standing opposite of a promising “up and comer” who is just one fight abandoned from a first loss: pain, war, hunger, and carnage are just a few words that come to mind that convey an obvious formula for success in an epic crossroads meeting. From a tactical stand point, I favor Brandon’s youthfully spirited conventional style to trump a very complaisant version of Manny with some nice over hand right leads (a very powerful asset for a “righty” against a “south paw”) and KO Manny sometime around the 9th in an awesome display of give and take.

John Signorella


  1. Brandan Rios is the youngest person I’ve ever seen have brain damage from boxing. I mean he’s in his 20’s and sounds barely more comprehensible than James Toney. That being said, it’s
    A ballsy call to pick someone who was outboxed by Alvarado over arguably the best p4p fighter in the world. I guess we’ll find out next week.

    Martin Sirois on November 17th, 2013 at 10:46 PM
  2. You find Rios exceptionally charismatic? Kid is a foul mouthed asshole; I hope Pacquiao beats his ass. Rios is going to have a HUGE size advantage.

    tommyrenob on November 18th, 2013 at 6:07 AM
  3. I genuinely worry about Rios health in this fight, I have watched Manny since he first started fighting in the US and I can tell you this, he is one of the hardest punchers the welterweight division has ever seen. That along with his blinding speed and cat like foot work will translate to a severely beaten Rios by Rd 6, I just hope that the powers that be will keep an eye on Rios for Rios sake. Here is to a great battle with both fighters making through the fight safely.

    Don V
    Boxing Fan for almost 50 yrs.

    DoninLouisiana on November 18th, 2013 at 7:03 AM
  4. To say Manny is a complete fighter is ridiculous. Manny has no defense. His defense strictly relies on his offense. Yes he has good head movement but that is about it. He darts in and out throwing punches. That is his main defense, and as you seen in his last fight it got him KOd. Manny is an offensive machine, he is no complete fighter. His offense is what wins him his fights. Plain and simple. There is a reason why he has come out of every fight looking beat up. And now they are saying this will be a success if they sell about 750 thousand PPVs. How far has his brand dropped?

    PJ on November 18th, 2013 at 9:59 AM
  5. If you listen closely to Rios talking during the training camp of Margarito vs Pacman and him talking now – even in this short period of time you can hear a difference in his speech. Him being not even 30 this is pretty frightening. Beside his foul mouth he seems to be a nice guy. Someone should tell him to pull the plug sooner than later (it its not already too late). Actually Garcia should be well aware of this situation.

    Sven on November 18th, 2013 at 1:46 PM
  6. Top Rank set up fight. Rios is a robot like Margarito he will be beaten to a pulp. Arum made this fight for the retards who will scream that Manny will KO Mayweather. Sounds familiar?

    Mbuyiseli on November 19th, 2013 at 4:33 AM
  7. Pac like a sabretooth tiger, is getting long in the tooth. lots of wars.Lots of milage. but what stacks against him the most is that brutal knockout he suffered in his last fight. brandon rios brings it and wont lay down. anyone that thinks this is a gimme fight for pac is off their rocker. wouldnt be surprised if bam bam serves up the upset special. but IF pac comes back in deadly form and isnt a shell of himself, i expect a tko corner stoppage around 9…

    1200 Techs on November 19th, 2013 at 3:03 PM
  8. @PJ

    “There is a reason why he has come out of every fight looking beat up”


    dondon on November 19th, 2013 at 9:36 PM
  9. This fights going to be a real tear up! There has to be MAD TENSION between the camps after Ariza front kicks Freddy Roach in the mid section!

    1200 Techs on November 19th, 2013 at 11:21 PM
  10. Look, there are instances in which I shut my mouth because I realize this could create confrontation. Everything pointing to a “fat” “puffy” looking Manny to get hammered into retirement.

    Pedro Fernandez on November 20th, 2013 at 12:54 AM
  11. Man, fuck Alex Ariza, the Garcia brothers and FUCK Rios. You are a straight up asshole if you are rooting for Brandon “dumb ass” Rios. That kind of reaction from Ariza is straight up bullshit.

    tommyrenob on November 20th, 2013 at 5:19 AM
  12. Ariza is a punk..Did you see how he pushed that one guy on HIS OWN SIDE to try and provoke more ish? I would’ve slapped his punkass for that if he did that to me and I was backing his ass up..No need to taunt a man with Parkinson’s by doing those gestures…actually, it seemed like Brandon kept his composure very well…

    1200 Techs on November 20th, 2013 at 1:27 PM
  13. 1200 and Tommyrenob,

    No, Roach is the Punk, he clearly provokes the whole incident. I suggest people watch with video that has the whole incident. Garcia being interviewed, and Roach walking up and demanding things. Roach started the insults when he called Garcia a “Piece of S###”, and yes, Ariza took the bait, got involved, and it escalated. Roach is the one who goes towards Ariza saying; “Make me leave.” After Ariza tells him to get the f### out. I don’t condone Ariza kicking him, or mocking his disease, but to think Roach is the victim here is absurd. Roach gets racial as well, and that is not called for. Imagine the crap Pedro would get if he called Pac a “F’n Pinoy”? He’d get 3 times the amount of hate he gets from the Pac fans.


    SKERGE on November 20th, 2013 at 3:50 PM
  14. SKERGE – the gang mentality on display of those Rios douchebags is F******* BULL***T. They would shit tneir pants if they had to filex w/out any of their bros or cameras around. It’s cowardice and it is bullshit. You see Roach w/a posse of dick heads in front of and behind him? BULLS*IT.

    tommyrenob on November 20th, 2013 at 8:18 PM
  15. Whats your prediction pedro? you’ve eluded that picking someone like rios is a mistake and that pac should have picked an easy tune up.

    kenny on November 20th, 2013 at 9:09 PM
  16. skerge: lets put things in perspective my man. if pedro had parkinson’s and somebody had previously made fun of it, i wouldn’t blame him if he easily got heated when someone was on his own time allotted and said “30 more minutes” with disregard to timeframes previously agreed upon…I wouldnt be mad at pedro for saying you filipino Mf’er when theres a past history of these guys making fun of his disease and which you can see they were starting to do again…i would be bashing those pinoys…

    yeah roach was wrong and busted a nutty a little to quick, but to get KICKED by a bigger younger man when everyone could plainly see roach was no threat to Ariza, thats some b!tch ish…ariza,like roach obviously held a mad grudge against roach and ariza was trying to be tough guy…the worst is he pushed his OWN guy like saying “get him”, with disregard to his own guy..thats another b!tch move… much press on these childish things…i liked how rios and pac handled it…

    what do you think about this fight?? you plan on watching it??

    1200 Techs on November 21st, 2013 at 11:02 AM
  17. Tommyrenob,

    Seems like you already had an opinion of the Rios “posse” before they altercation began. Have you seen the video that clearly shows Garcia being interviewed and Roach walking up demanding they leave? Garcia explains what the delay was, and Roach goes off and tells them to, “Get the F### out.” When Garcia says they aren’t leaving, “Roach calls him a piece of S###.” Then Ariza and Co. tell Roach to “leave” (not in a nice way either). Roach then says, “Make me leave”, and steps to Ariza. You do that to a cop, and you’ll be eating pavement real quick. Again, not excusing Ariza, but Roach provoked the incident. Roach then went racial on the whole group. Roach was clearly trying to “punk” them with the cameras rolling. He could have been more diplomatic, because the camps have to share the facility, but he chose not to. That, my friend, is Bullspit. Roach should have been more professional. You should look at the full footage, before you pass judgement.


    SKERGE on November 21st, 2013 at 2:18 PM
  18. Skerge – point taken. However, Freddie is over 50 years old w/Parkinson’s. I think we can give him a bit of a pass for this indiscretion, no?

    I maintain, F*** those guys coming at Freddie; you condone them beating up dads and grandads too?

    The discussion becomes circular at this point, but I maintain those guys are sheep w/out their “posse” (and cameras) to flex in front of.

    tommyrenob on November 21st, 2013 at 7:00 PM
  19. Excuse me, they should have kicked Roach’s ass for getting in their space. He initiated everything! All the MEDS he is on seem to have made him delusional.

    Pedro Fernandez on November 21st, 2013 at 8:02 PM
  20. 1200,
    Let’s put things in perspective now that more facts are known. Fact is Top Rank scheduled the interview that cut into Team Rios time. Fact, it was 11:03 when Roach confronts Garcia. Fact, Pac man didn’t even show up to the gym until 1pm, clearly at the end of HIS allotted time. So, if Pac shows up at 1pm, does he still get to train, being that the “agreed” (your word) time was 11 to 1pm for Pac? Be careful how you answer, it might betray you. Fact, Roach made demands, and began with the insults. Fact, Team Rios apologized for the past mocking, and Roach accepted the apology. How is it cool for Roach to get offended, when he was the one who confronts Garcia, and is the one who initiates the insults? So what you are saying is that he gets a “pass” because he has a disease? Roach is the jerk for starting the whole thing. In NO WAY, am I defending Ariza, totally out of line to kick Roach, mock his disease, and use a homophobic slur. But, if you know anything about personal space, Roach was clearly the aggressor.

    Yes, Pac and Rios handled it with class and some humor. I will skip watching live and catch a replay, unless I get an invite. The outcome of this fight means nothing in the big picture, as Arum already knows Pac will win, and will have him fight Provo next. Arum says a Floyd fight can happen next year, but Arum says a lot of things, then says he was lying, but now is telling the truth. The longer it goes, the more it will wear on Pac (in the long run), but I still think Pac by decision or late stoppage. I won’t be surprised if Pac gets stopped or is beat up too.


    SKERGE on November 21st, 2013 at 9:19 PM
  21. tommyrenob,

    Are you serious? Roach gets a pass for using racial slurs and instigating a fight because he has Parkinson’s and is 50? What else can he get a pass for then? A jerk is a jerk period Umm, think you need to watch again, Freddy moves towards them first. If my dad or grandpa started a fight and were acting like jerks, maybe they need their ass kicked. You know what happens to people who keep getting passes to do crappy things to people? They end up like Incognito, and think it’s done out of “love”. Be part of the solution.


    SKERGE on November 21st, 2013 at 9:25 PM
  22. Skerge: I concede that Roach was acting like a crochety old man. I don’t think he ever let go of team Garcia mocking him. I work with people with special needs so I am very aware of how frustrating it can be for somebody who has a speech impediment from getting your message across. COnsider this though:

    Read the transcript and watch the video and hear Robert Garcia’s Tone and NOTICE the disrespectful, disregarding way he dismisses Roach’s request. Things escalate when they yell at him GTFOH and it’s pretty easy to distinguish the tone in Roach’s voice repeating “Make me leave!” in a childish manner, thinking in his head that he was right (in fact, based on the principle of who’s TURN it was to use the gym, he’s RIGHT! It was Rios’ team that had to leave!)
    Roach was already being disrespected because 30 more minutes cut into team pacs training time and trainers ALWAYS want some kind of upper hand for their team. Everyone knows this.

    Roach WAS wrong for being crochety and immediately calling R. Garcia a excuse in that.

    But examine the part where Roach gets stuck like a child, saying “make me leave! make me leave!” when he approaches Ariza, it DID NOT look like he was going to assault anybody. You mention personal space but tell me. Did it look to you Freddy was going to assault Ariza?

    Pedro: Sorry sir, but you are WRONG if you think THEY should have kicked his ass based on how he acted! He acted childish, no doubt, but tHe man is over 50 with Parkinsons and DID NOT look like he was going to strike! No doubt he acted like a pissy old man, but consider how frustrating it is to communicate when you have a speech impediment and how rapidly things got heated.

    Here’s a link with the transcript:,-rios-coaches-get-into-heated-scuffle

    1200 Techs on November 22nd, 2013 at 12:38 AM
  23. Pedro,

    why did you say he initiated everything when the Rios Camp had exhausted their time at the gym and it is PacMan’s time to use the gym? They are infringing on PacMan’s camp time. They should be humble enough to ask for an extension. That kick by that ungrateful Ariza to Roach was the lowest class of act a man can do to his former boss.

    insurgent22360 on November 22nd, 2013 at 9:15 AM
  24. Justin Fortune, a former Roach assitant, weighed in on the situation over at Maxboxing:

    His assessment is basically team Rios is in the wrong and they are bitches and cowards.

    Pedro, I respect and value your opinion, but you are wrong.

    tommyrenob on November 22nd, 2013 at 11:25 AM
  25. Techs,

    No need to read the transcript, I’ve seen the complete video footage that begins with the Garcia interview, and Roach walking up. Garcia did not have a “bad” tone when he dismisses the request to leave. He states his reason for going over the allotted time and says he isn’t going to leave. You didn’t answer my question though. If it’s OK for Roach to get “pissy” because Team Rios is over the allotted time and are acting “unprofessional”, what does it say about Pac if he showed up at the end of his allotted time. Again, Roach had no reason to try to get them to leave, because Pac wasn’t even there. Answer the question Tech, if Pac shows up at 1pm, does he still get to train, being that the “agreed” (your word) time was 11 to 1pm? Just so you remember, Pac didn’t show up until 1pm. What does Roach have to complain about? Is it OK for Garcia to be all Time Cop, and say, “Pac can’t practice because his time is from 11 to 1pm.” In other words, Roach made an issue of a non-issue, because Pac wasn’t even there. It doesn’t matter if Roach looked like he was going to assault Ariza, you can not violate someone’s personal space. You don’t get in someone’s face, because by doing so, it is a type of assault. Why do you continue to give Roach a pass because of his age and illness? I also worked with people with special needs, and all they wanted was for people to treat them as equals, and not feel pity for them. If a guy with a speech impediment attacked your mom, I’d bet you wouldn’t give 1 thought about it and just commence to beating him down. Roach started the whole thing.


    SKERGE on November 22nd, 2013 at 3:59 PM
  26. Insurgent,
    Pac wasn’t even there, and he didn’t arrive until 1pm, which is the time he is supposed to be finished. I guess it’s OK for someone to toss him (Pac) out too then, right? Or does the demi-god Pac get to infringe on other people’s time?


    SKERGE on November 22nd, 2013 at 4:01 PM
  27. Tommyrenob,

    Umm, yeah, Fortune is obviously impartial here. I’d bet he’s a real King Solomon on this issue. Sounds like he still has the riod rage.


    SKERGE on November 22nd, 2013 at 4:02 PM
  28. *Roid rage


    SKERGE on November 22nd, 2013 at 4:03 PM
  29. Skerge: Freddy Roach was a crochety old man in this situation. I saw the whole video and idk why,I can’t find it anymore on the net. The way they bend over for team pac is NOT on a level playing field sometimes and roach plays on it every chance he gets. Alls Im saying is Ariza took doucherie on a whole new level! If you dont agree thats cool. But if it happened in context of the way it happened to ANY old man with parkinsons getting kicked and i dont care if there last name is mayweather, juneweather, or julyweather, there is no need to go there! i’ll repeat, roach DID NOT look like he was going to physically assault or even get close to ariza. That did not need to escalate the way it did. I agree with Justin Fortune. That would have not went down if he was there cause Ariza is the type of dude that just starts sh!T when hes with others.By himself he aint no tough guy. Just look at pretty much the camps he was involved in prior to pac. Why was Garcia Leary of Ariza from the gate? Because its a known fact Ariza clashed with other teams he was a part of, BEFORE he came to roach!

    Finally what does a person with a speech impediment attacking my mom have to do with anything?lol

    1200 Techs on November 24th, 2013 at 8:25 PM
  30. Techs,
    When did I NOT agree that Ariza is a f’n Douche Bag? Take the Pac blinders off. You said it yourself, Roach takes advantage, period The point is, Roach escalated the situation, no, HE started the whole thing in the first place. Who the F cares what Fortune said. Sometimes I wonder if you really read my posts man, it’s really frustrating that you do not pay attention to what I write. Roach had NO business talking smack, because PAC wasn’t there and didn’t get there until 1pm. I used the “attacking your mom”, as an example of not giving a rat’s ass if someone had a disability attacking your mom. No one would care if the person was disabled, they’d just commence whipping butt to stick up for their mom. BTW, fight was as expected.


    SKERGE on November 26th, 2013 at 12:12 PM

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