Manny Pacquiao’s got a wakeup call to go pee pee in a cup on Wednesday at 7:30 in Macau.
In advance of Saturday’s welterweight bout with rising junior welterweight, Brandon Rios, the Filipino super star was randomly tested by officials from the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA), as he and Rios have contractually agreed to be leading up to their fight.
“Manny Pacquiao’s wakeup call today was provided by VADA,” read a press release from publicist Fred Sternburg. “Manny happily gave them a deposit at 7:30 a.m. after two bottles of water, then proceeded on his morning run.”
MANNY PACQUIAO ‘MORE THAN CONFIDENT’ FOR RIOS
Pacquiao is not known as a trash talker. But as Saturday’s bout nears against Rios, the man who turns 35 next month has intensified his rhetoric.
“Am I confident for my fight with Rios? I am more than confident,” said Pacquiao shortly after his arrival on Monday (Tuesday in China.) “Rios is bigger than me. Remember Goliath was bigger than David, and yet, David needed just one stone to fell the giant.”
Pacquiao has lost two straight, a split-decision to WBO beltholder Tim Bradley last June and a sixth-round KO to Juan Manuel Marquez last December.
Rios was last in the ring in March, when Mike Alvarado won a unanimous decision to avenge a seventh-round stoppage loss from October of 2012.
Bradley has picked Rios to lose by eighth-round stoppage to Pacquiao.
“I enter this fight stronger than ever,” said Pacquiao, who has vowed to win on behalf of his typhoon-ravaged countrymen. “I have the strength of my country and my people coursing through my body. I fight for them, not for me. I fight for their glory, not mine.”
Meanwhile, Rios landed in Macau five days prior to Pacquiao, even getting in two sparring sessions, the last of which was on Friday.
“I want to feel Manny’s power. I want to feel all of it. This is the first training camp where I have kept to the game plan and done everything that I was told to do. Manny Pacquiao is a big step, but I am going to shut everyone up and prove that I am the best,” said Rios.
“The second Alvarado fight was my bad. I was focused on knocking him out, and that’s how I trained and fought, throwing one shot at a time and trying to land that knockout punch. It was also the first time that I lifted weights, and by the third round, I was slowing down. This time, I am focused on winning, and not on the knockout — and [trainer] Robert [Garcia] and his dad have designed a lot of ways for me to do that.”
LIke Bradley, Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, is predicting an early night in favor of his fighter.
“Manny’s last training session was nothing short of amazing. We were supposed to do six rounds on the mitts, and I cut it off at four rounds. They were the best four rounds of mitts that I have ever done with Manny. He was blazing. He was throwing the heat,” said Roach.
“This was the happiest and most productive camp that I have had with Manny in years. I know that I predicted that Manny would knock Rios out inside of six rounds, but based on our last workout, I don’t see how Rios makes it past the fourth round.”
Having spent his past few days in China, Rios said he has acclimated to the time difference from his home in Oxnard, Calif.
“My body clock has finally adjusted to Macau. I slept until 7 a.m. and was in the gym before 9 a.m.,” said Rios. “I know that we’re in Manny’s back yard, and I want to win every round. I have trained not to give up a minute to Manny Pacquiao.”
Roach has said that he would consider discussing retirement with Pacquiao if he were to fall short against Rios, and Garcia said that his training counterpart needs to prepare to have that conversation.
“Twice, during the two episodes of [HBO’s] 24/7, I’ve heard Freddie Roach say he will ask Manny Pacquiao to retire if he loses to Brandon Rios,” said Garcia.
“Well, Freddie had better go buy that gold watch for Manny, because the retirement party begins on Saturday night. I guarantee you that this is the last time you will see Manny Pacquiao on an HBO Pay Per View.”
BANNER PROMOTIONS ON A ROLL BEHIND RUSLAN PROVODNIKOV, DEMETRIUS ANDRADE
Not only is Artie Pelullo riding high thanks to the recent triumphs of newly crowned WBO 140- and 154-pound titleholders Ruslan Provodnikov and Demetrius Andrade, but the Banner Promotions CEO has other fighters who are winning during what has been an exceptional November for the company.
Provodnikov rebounded from a unanimous decision to WBO welterweight beltholder Tim Bradley in March by coming through against Mike Alvarado with a 10th-round knockout for the WBO’s junior welterweight title in October. On Nov. 9, Andrade earned the WBO junior middleweight title with a split-decision over Vanes Martirosyan.
Another winner on Nov. 9 was Pelullo’s light heavyweight Michael Seals (17-0, 13 KOs), who scored a first-round stoppage of Steve Walker.
Middleweight Patrick Teixeira (21-0, 18 KOs) came up with a fifth-round knockout of Alejandro Gustavo Falliga on Nov. 13, and, one day later, junior welterweight Cornelius Whitlock (2-0-2, one KO) earned a first-round knockout over Josue Rivera.
On Nov. 15, junior middleweight Taras Shelestyuk (6-0, 4 KOs), a 2012 Olympic bronze medalist for Ukraine, stopped Thomas Allen in the second round.
“I am very proud of all of our fighters,” said Pelullo, who anticipates a March 1 rematch between his super middleweight Bryan Vera and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., the latter of whom won by disputed unanimous decision in September. “We have had some great performances on HBO and now to see our next wave of fighters like we hoped is gratifying.”
Pelullo and Top Rank CEO Bob Arum have also begun to consider a bout between newly-crowned WBO junior lightweight titleholder Mikey Garcia and Juan Carlos Burgos. Garcia won the belt on Saturday with an eighth-round knockout over Roman “Rocky” Martinez, whom many felt was fortunate to walk away with a draw in his January bout with Burgos.
GOLDEN BOY UNVEILS COMPLETE ADRIEN BRONER-MARCOS MAIDANA CARD
Unbeaten bantamweight Rau’shee Warren (16-0, 3 KOs) is among those who will be in the ring on the Dec. 14 undercard to the main event featuring WBA 147-pound titleholder Adrien Broner and Marcos Maidana at The Alamodome in San Antonio.
Warren will face Jose Silveira (15-9, 6 KOs), lightweight Robert Easter Jr. (7-0, 7 KOs) will fight Hardy M. Paredes (16-12, 10 KOs), and 135-pound Jamell Herring (5-0, 3 KOs) takes on Lance Williams (6-2, 6 KOs).
Also, former undisputed middleweight champ Jermain Taylor, who has not fought since stopping Raul Munoz in the second round last October, will face Juan Carlos Candelo on the card, Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer announced on Monday.
Also present will be Canelo Alvarez to watch his 31-year-old brother, junior welterweight Ricardo “Dinamita” Alvarez (27-4, 20 KOs), against Rod Skalka (18-2, 3 KOs). Ricardo will be after his 14th victory in his past 15 bouts and his 11th stoppage during that streak.
The Showtime-televised version of the Broner-Maidana undercard will feature a defense by WBC junior featherweight beltholder Leo Santa Cruz against Cesar Seda, welterweight standouts Keith Thurman and Jesus Soto-Karass in a hard-hitting clash, and WBA light heavyweight beltholder Beibut Shumenov in a defense against unbeaten Tamas Kovacs.
STEVE CUNNINGHAM RETURNS ON DEC. 14
Former two-time cruiserweight titleholder Steve Cunningham (25-6, 12 KOs), who was last in the ring for a seventh-round stoppage loss as a heavyweight to Tyson Fury in April, could be back in the ring on Dec. 14, according Main Events President Kathy Duva.
Duva said that she is woing on an opponent for Cunningham, who will be part of an NBC Sports Net card in Atlantic City.
FORMER TITLEHOLDER JEFF LACY RETURNS ON NOV. 30
Former super middleweight titleholder Jeff Lacy (25-4, 17 KOs) will end a nearly three-year ring absence when he meets Martin Verdin (20-16-2, 11 KOs) on Nov. 30 at The Bell of Baton Rouge Casino in Baton Rouge, La., according to a prepared release from Bernie Bahrmasel.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org