MANILA — Manny Pacquiao is going to turn Brandon Rios into a smaller version of Antonio Margarito when the Filipino icon makes his much-awaited comeback in Macau, a member of the original Team Pacquiao declared when asked about the Nov. 24 clash.
Lito Mondejar, the only surviving member of the triumvirate composed of Rod Nazario, Moy Lainez and himself, said that while Rios is a heavy-handed slugger, he doesn’t have the quickness to evade Pacquiao’s furious fists.
“It’s going to be like Pacquiao against Margarito,” said Mondejar, referring to the slow-moving Mexican who Pacquiao mauled in 2010 at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, Texas.
Margarito hardly won a round against Pacquiao, and Mondejar sees the same thing to happen when Rios gets his turn at the CotaiArena, a 15,000-capacity venue within The Venetian Resort and Casino in Macau.
Rios stands about 5-8 and hardly takes a backward step whenever he is on top of the ring, making him a perfect opponent for Pacquiao, who is in the rebuilding stage of a legendary career.
Pacquiao desperately needs not just a convincing decision win but an emphatic knockout victory to revive his career following the sixth-round knockout defeat to Juan Manuel Marquez last year.
A devastating win would line himself up for a return trip to Las Vegas possibly against the winner of the Oct. 12 showdown between Marquez and Tim Bradley and probably Floyd Mayweather in 2014.
A loss, however, would likely put a close to his Hall of Fame career. (Manila Bulletin)