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Manny Pacquiao vs. Brandon Rios: Can Freddie Roach script another resurgent effort?

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Freddie Roach, multiple 'Trainer of the Year' recipient and trainer of champions, is on a bit of a hot streak, having recently led two of his top fighters to outstanding victories. He trained the resurgent Miguel Cotto, who sought the services of Roach after dropping consecutive matches to Floyd Mayweather and Austin Trout, to an impressive and dominant victory over Delvin Rodriguez last month.

(Images courtesy of Top Rank)

The veteran trainer also prepared underdog Ruslan Provodnikov for his title-taking win over the determined, then -WBO Jr. Welterweight Champion Mike Alvarado in the latter's backyard in Denver, CO.

Like Cotto, Ruslan was coming off a loss, finding himself on the short end of a controversial unanimous decision to Tim Bradley seven months prior.

Now Roach will attempt to lead his most-prized pugilist who, like Cotto and Provodnikov, is coming off a loss, to victory.

"We have the game plan down. We know how we are going to fight Brandon Rios."

"He's a taller guy and we have been watching the tapes of his last 10 fights. We have a great game plan and Manny knows how to fight this fighter and I believe it's going to be a great night for the Philippines," Roach told the media today.

Although Manny will turn 35 next month and is eight years Brandon's senior, PacMan is the quicker, more agile, more explosive fighter and Roach intends for Manny to ride those attributes to victory.

After examining Rios vs. Alvarado II, Roach noticed how vulnerable Rios was to effective lateral movement and stated, "That's how you beat this guy. You outbox him. You don't trade with this guy."

"You just weave in and out and the fight will be easy."


"We have the game plan down perfectly. I know he is a tough guy but tough guys don't win fights. Good boxers win fights."

The aforementioned bout, the Rios vs Alvarado rematch, is Brandon's only loss to date. The Denver native changed his strategy for this bout by moving and boxing, and only brawling in short spurts.

In their first bout, Alvarado was more stationary and willingly stood toe-to-toe. His courage and willingness to brawl made their first bout a Fight of the Decade candidate but also got him TKO'd in the 7th Round.

Alvarado possesses fine technical skills but his agility, footwork, speed, and elusiveness pale in comparison to that of the Filipino star.

Roach seemingly intends to take a page from Alvarado's text book and have Manny move and box in similar fashion to Alvarado in the latter's rematch with Rios.

Given Pacquiao is a superior athlete to Alvarado and is more skilled and experienced, should we expect PacMan to be even more effective against Rios?

Rios vs Alvarado 2 Highlights


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