Manny Pacquiao’s showdown with Brandon Rios on Nov. 24 in Macau is going to end in a knockout.
And Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach says it’s the Mexican who will kiss the canvas.
Roach made this prediction to visiting Asian journalists last week in General Santos City, where Pacquiao is holding his training camp.
“Manny will be doing me a big favor by knocking this guy (Rios) out,” Roach said.
Roach’s ill-feeling toward Rios emanated from a 2010 video showing the Mexican-American mocking his slurred speech and mannerism in front of trainer Robert Garcia and Antonio Margarito.
Undaunted by the brutal sixth-round knockout Pacquiao suffered against Juan Manuel Marquez last Dec. 8, Roach said Pacquiao’s hunger (of winning) is back. The Filipino also suffered a controversial split decision loss to American Timothy Bradley last June 9.
Filipino assistant trainer Buboy Fernandez put Pacquiao’s physical condition at 85 to 90 percent, and there are four weeks left before the welterweight bout is staged at The Venetian Macao’s Cotai Arena.
But Pacquiao said he needs to put in more work to regain his old form.
“I need to train more,” he told the Inquirer. “I am hungry.”
Renowned promoter Bob Arum, who accompanied the media horde with Sands China CEO Edward Tracy, was also impressed with Pacquiao’s performance in his sparring with Ghanaian welterweight Fredrick Lawson and Briton light middleweight Liam Vaughan.
Tracy was quoted by South China Morning Post that tickets for Pacquiao-Rios are 80 percent sold out. Ticket inquiries reportedly came from fans from 31 countries, including Zimbabwe and Russia.
Celebrities like Denzel Washington, George Clooney and Eva Longoria are also reported to have expressed their intention to see the fight.