Pacquiao dedicates fight to typhoon victims

Manny Pacquiao might be fighting to save his future but his thoughts are with typhoon victims in his native Philippines as he prepares to face Brandon Rios.

Manny Pacquiao

Pacquiao has dedicated the 62nd fight of his career to those affected by the tragedy and has ensured three giant screens will be set up in the devastated city of Tacloban so his fans can watch the fight for free.

Pacquiao is a congressman and a true national hero back in his homeland, and the 34-year-old would be expected to announce his retirement if he suffered his third defeat in a row against Rios.

Pacquiao said: "I'm doing my best to win this fight because I lost twice last year, but also with what happened to my countrymen in the Philippines. To all the people and families affected by this storm - this fight is for you."

Victory over Rios would inevitably reopen suggestions of a bout with Floyd Mayweather but such talk seems premature in light of Pacquiao's shocking sixth-round knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez last time out.

Rios may be heading into the fight as an underdog but much will depend on Pacquiao's ability to shrug off what was his first knockout loss in 13 years against an established top-level performer.

Rios is a former world lightweight champion and a credible challenger but he lost to light-welterweight Mike Alvarado last time out - his first defeat in 33 professional bouts.

An unseemly row between Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach and Rios camp member Alex Ariza betrayed the frayed nerves on both sides which is no surprise given the potentially lucrative future options for the winner.

And the 27-year-old Rios clearly believes he is going to finish what Marquez and before him Timothy Bradley started, and finish the career of one of the most remarkable and enduring fighters of recent times.

Rios said: "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 I've done everything I need to win.

"Everyone thinks I'm just a tune-up fight. I'm nobody's tune-up and nobody's punch-bag. A punching bag doesn't punch back. I'm a monster when I get in that ring. On Sunday a new star is on the rise."



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