Speaking with RingTV.com, Rios said that it was his goal “to go out to and to dominate” Pacquiao when they meet in Macau on Nov. 23 (Nov. 24 in China), adding, “when I catch his ass, he’s going to go down.”
“It’s America. Everybody is entitled to their opinion, whether there is any substance to it or not,” said Koncz. “I hope that he tries to do what he’s saying that he’s going to do, and that way, the fans will get their money’s worth.”
Rios (31-1-1, 23 knockouts) is coming off a close unanimous-decision loss in a rematch with Mike Alvarado, while Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KOs) is attempting to rebound from consecutive losses: a split-decision to WBO beltholder Tim Bradley last June and sixth-round knockout to Juan Manuel Marquez last December.
“Manny’s already playing intensive basketball every day, three to six hours per day,” said Koncz. “He’s doing some light jogging, and then he will get serious training after the press tour.”
PACQUIAO, RIOS TO BE RANDOMLY TESTED BY VADA
Koncz also re-asserted that Pacquiao and Rios have mutually agreed to be randomly drug-tested by The Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) for their bout, saying that it was “part of the contract.”
“There’s no commission over there in China which has any experience with this kind of testing, where the Nevada Commission has an established commission,” said Top Rank CEO Bob Arum.
“This commission over there is from China, and so forth, and it wouldn’t work for them to do it with a fighter training in the Philippines and one in the United States. In this situation, we feel more comfortable using an organization like VADA.”
For his rematch with Alvarado, Rios had hired controversial strength and conditioning guru Angel Guillermo Heredia Hernandez, whose history includes being involved in performance-enhancing activities.
But Rios said recently that he was unsure if his preparations for Pacquiao would include Heredia Hernandez, who worked with Marquez for his third and fourth bouts with Pacquiao.
At any rate, Rios said he welcomes the random testing for the Pacquiao fight.
“I don’t really care. They can use VADA. They can use whatever random drug testing that’s out there, I don’t really care, because I know that I’m a clean guy and I know that I don’t have nothing dirty,” said Rios.
“They could come right here and test me right now. They’re not going to find nothing. Just a little bit of alcohol, but that’s about it. I’m a clean fighter. I’ll go in that ring and my heart. That’s what I do.”
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org