Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao has vowed to do the Philippines proud when he takes on Brandon Rios, amid strained relations between both camps.
The Filipino congressman for the Sarangani province was the coolest man on stage during the final press conference, where animosity between both trainers from the altercation earlier in the day was still very much evident.
Five-time ‘Trainer of the Year’ Freddie Roach and members of Team Rios, including trainer Robert Garcia, were involved in a scuffle at the fight week gym when Roach vehemently voiced his displeasure that they were still there during Pacquiao’s allotted time.
The eight-weight world champion, however, seemed unperturbed by the situation instead turning his thoughts to the people of the Philippines who were left devastated by Typhoon Haiyan which has claimed the lives of over 4000 people.
“Brandon Rios says he’s hungry to win this fight and I also say I’m hungry to win this fight because I’ve lost twice last year,” Pacquiao said.
“I’m doing my best to give a good fight and to win the fight, especially with what happened to my countrymen and what happened to the Philippines with the typhoon. To all the people and families affected by this storm – this fight is for you,” declared Pacquiao.
Rios, fighting out of Oxnard, California, was adamant that Pacquiao would have his work cut out after claiming he had his best camp ever.
Famed for his all-action, gung-ho approach, the 27-year-old believes that the ‘Fighter of the Decade’ will be his stepping stone to superstardom.
“They think I'm no problem but I'm going to be a huge problem. This camp is the best I've ever had. I've been disciplined. I've followed my diet and done everything I need to win,” said Rios.
“Everyone thinks I'm a tune-up fight - I'm nobody's tune-up fight and nobody's punch bag. A punching bag don’t punch back. I'm a monster when I get in that ring. On Sunday a new star is on the rise,” Rios roared.
Both trainers aired their thoughts on the gym bust-up but it was Garcia who was the most vocal, expressing his displeasure at the media who were present during the incident.
“We had plenty of camera crews, photographers, reporters there. I don’t see why none of them are putting out exactly what happened. I don’t know what HBO 24/7 will put up. There are plenty of reporters and plenty of photographers that were putting pictures up that are making our team look bad,” Garcia said.
Manny Pacquiao vs. Brandon Rios is live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch 546) this Sunday at 1.30am.
BoxNation will donate £2 from every new subscription this week to the Disasters Emergency Committee’s appeal for victims of Super Typhoon Haiyan.