Trainer Freddie Roach also expressed his openness to fighting Floyd Mayweather, a champion who many boxing experts considered to be the best fighter in the world.
By Truth Esguerra
AFTER his stellar decision victory over topnotch boxing contender Brandon "Bam Bam" Rios at the Cotai Arena in the Venetian November 23, boxing superstar Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao said he is willing to fight anybody in the ring including Pound-for-Pound Champion Floyd Mayweather Jr.
"My job is to fight. Anybody who will fight with me, I can fight. It depends on my promoter Bob Arum on who is the next opponent," Pacquiao said during the post fight press conference. "I am willing fight Floyd Mayweather but it's up to him if he is willing also."
Trainer Freddie Roach also expressed his openness to fighting Mayweather, a champion who many boxing experts considered to be the best fighter in the world after Pacquiao's devastating knock out loss to Juan Manuel Marquez last year.
"Obviously Mayweather is the number one guy we want," Roach said after Pacquiao's demolition job on Rios. "Mayweather, in his last two fights, looked slow. I think his legs are a little worn out. He doesn't move like he used to. I think Manny's speed will overwhelm him. Obviously that is the fight the whole world wants to see."
Aside from the megabout with Mayweather, Roach has also expressed his desire for fights with Marquez and WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley, the two fighters who defeated Pacquiao last year.
"Personally, I want Marquez but the thing is I'm not sure if we can get him to agree to that. He wants a lot of money," Roach said in regards to Pacquiao's most heated rival. "Bradley is out there. I think Bradley is something we have to avenge. Whoever Bob can bring to the table and can get in the ring with us, I'll be happy with."
Despite Pacquiao having nearly a year long layoff in boxing, Roach wants him to be continually active in the sport next year.
"I would like to see him get a fight early next year. I like the activity for fighters," Roach said in regards to Pacquiao's next big appearance in the boxing ring. "I'd like to see Manny fight two to three times next year. The sooner the better."
Pacquiao said he felt strong during the fight with Rios and was very accepting of his overwhelming performance.
"I'm just doing my job in the ring," Pacquiao said about his destructive one-sided victory over the 27 year-old boxing contender. "I'm happy that God gave me the strength."
During the fight, Pacquiao was able stick to Roach's game plan while showcasing some of his vintage skills in front a packed house of 13,000 boxing fans in the arena.
The 34-year-old House representative from Sarangani avoided Rios' strong right hand and attack his weak side with powerful combinations the whole night.
Pacquiao would also dart forward with his signature straight left hand and angle out of harm's way, a strategy that would often times frustrate the flat-footed Rios.
"Manny fought a perfect fight," Roach said about his star pugilist. "I couldn't ask for anything more."
Aside from Pacquiao's power and ring generalship, the overwhelming factor in the fight was his speed.
"What beat Brandon Rios tonight was his speed. Brandon couldn't handle his speed and that is a great asset," Roach said about his fighter's advantage. "Manny was really quick. He (Rios) took a beating like a man."
Despite hurting Rios with many power shots throughout the bout, Pacquiao eased off the pressure during the later portions of the fight and avoided any careless mistakes.
"I was careful," he said about not being overly aggressive and going for the knock out at the end of the fight. "Boxing is not about killing each other."
Overall, Roach was very pleased with his fighter's display in the ring.
"He boxed really well," Roach said about his star pupil. "There is no sign of him slowing down tonight whatsoever. I just thought he fought a great fight."
Pacquiao, who dedicated his victory to the victims affected by Typhoon Haiyan, said he considered his retirement to be out of the question.
"This is not my time yet. My journey will continue," Pacquiao said. "We will rise again."
Pacquiao's record improves to 55 wins (38 KOs), 5 losses (3 KOs), and 2 draws.
Rio's record falls to 31 wins (23 KOs), 2 losses, and 1 draw.