• Manny Pacquiao v Brandon Rios

Pacquiao feeling pressure ahead of Rios meeting

ESPN staff
July 30, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »

Manny Pacquiao has admitted that the pressure is really on him as he tries to rebuild his boxing career against Brandon Rios later this year.

Pacquiao, once regarded as one of the top two pound-for-pound fighters in the sport, has seen his reputation slip in recent months, after successive defeats to Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez.

A November 24 meeting against Rios gives the Filipino a chance to get back to winning ways and perhaps re-open the path to a few more super-fights before he retires but, with both his reputation and career at stake, Pacquiao has already admitted to feeling the strain.

"I am feeling a little pressure for this fight since I have lost my previous two. An impressive victory against Rios will raise my name again in boxing," Pacquiao said. "My belief in God and training as hard as I can will help to relieve that pressure.

"I need to prove I still can fight like the old Manny Pacquiao. I need to restore the public's confidence in me and my abilities. It's important that this be an impressive victory."

Rios, meanwhile, has needled his forthcoming opponent - saying Pacquiao was "smaller" than he expected.

"My first impression of meeting Manny Pacquiao in Macau was that he was smaller than I thought he would be," Rios told Boxing Scene.

He added: "I have an enormous amount of respect for him and what he has accomplished.

"Manny makes a lot of mistakes and Robert [Garcia, Rios' trainer] and I will be working hard on making a plan to exploit them. I can't let this opportunity slip through my fingers."

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