Brandon Rios: Manny Pacquiao was the best, but everybody gets old

Feng Li

Rios says he's not Antonio Margarito, and that Manny Pacquiao isn't what he used to be.

Brandon Rios wants Manny Pacquiao to know that just because his fighting style resembles that of his old training camp pal Antonio Margarito, their November 23 fight won't go down like Pacquiao's 2010 brutalizing of the older, bigger Margarito. He also says that watching ringside at Pacquiao-Marquez IV last December, he saw Pacquiao hurt Marquez but fail to capitalize.

"He had Marquez hurt but Marquez caught him with a great shot. He jumped in and boom. I know I'll be ready. They think that I'm another Margarito. That I'm just going to come forward and take a beating. I'm younger, coming up in weight and better. Manny Pacquiao was the best but everybody gets aged at [some] point."

Rios (31-1-1, 23 KO) may well be better than Margarito was in 2010, because Margarito didn't have a whole lot left then except a chin, what with his vaunted power not quite looking as it did before that one incident that happened that one time -- DOES MARGARITO BELONG IN THE HALL??? -- and the 150-pound catchweight that might have bothered him, maybe, and there's no doubt that even though Rios has taken some punishment in his career, he's not as weathered as Margarito was then.

But Margarito was a much bigger guy than Rios, too, taller and heavier and probably physically stronger. The other factor, though: is Pacquiao as good as he was in 2010? Almost surely not. There are a lot of questions about this matchup. How does Rios handle the move up? Is Pacquiao damaged and/or too far declined? Can Rios bring the same heat, and take the same clean shots he has from lightweights and junior welterweights against Pacquiao, by a good sight most likely the best fighter he's faced?

WE'LL NEVER KNOW!

Wait, yes we will.

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