Robert Garcia, the trainer of Brandon 'Bam Bam' Rios, believes former eight-time division world champion Manny Pacquiao is on a decline, saying it would not be a surprise to see his ward beating up the Filipino champ when the two face each other inside the ring on November 23 at Venetian Macao in Macau, China.
Manny Pacquiao and Brandon Rios
Garcia, who is former championship himself during his boxing days, told Boxingscene.com reporter Salvador Rodriguez that Pacquiao has shown some signs of aging over his last two or three fights.
Nevertheless, despite Pacquiao's declining skills, Garcia said he's going to prepare Rios for the dominant Filipino fighter four years ago.
"We're going to prepare for the best Pacquiao, the same one from four years ago, that's the Pacquiao that we are going to prepare for. [But] there are things that I've been noticing from his last two or three fights."
"He does not have the same strength and his legs are suffering from cramps... [possibly] the effects of] age, punishment in the gym. There are things that nobody can hide. It happens to athletes, boxers and there is nothing you can do [about it]," Garcia told Boxingscene.
Garcia, who also trained Antonio Margarito for the Pacquiao fight three years ago, said Rios' youth and power will make all the difference in the fight.
"I will prepare Brandon differently from what we did with Margarito. It has served me well to have been with Margarito three years ago, I learned a lot [from the Pacquiao fight]. And while the style is similar, we know that Brandon is almost 10 years younger than Margarito," Garcia added.
Garcia added that they are going to focus more on hitting Pacquiao on the body, allowing Rios to pounce on an older and a lot slower Pac-man.
"Brandon hits hard [to the body]. Pacquiao said it and many people told us that Pacquiao went to the hospital [after the Margarito fight] because he broke his rib and I do not want to take anything away from Pacquiao but Margarito was [past his prime]," Garcia added.
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