Nov 7 2013, 9:52pm CST | by Poch de la Rosa
According to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Pacquiao brushed off the fact that is about to turn 35 in December. Instead, he has tagged the Rios bout as one of "the most important" of his accomplished career.
The fighter known as "Pac Man" remains unfazed despite two straight losses -- a split decision to Timothy Bradley in June 2012 and a sixth-round knockout at the hands of Juan Manuel Marquez six months later.
"It doesn't affect me. As far as boxing is concerned, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.
"I feel comfortable and confident about going on to win this fight. I am not looking to retire if I lose this fight.
"My motivation is that boxing is in my blood. I enjoy it and I like to entertain my fans worldwide."
If Pacquiao insists on not retiring, Rios insists he will do it for him.
In a prelude to the actual bout, HBO aired Face Off on Nov. 2 featuring the two fighters and hosted by boxing aficionado Max Kellerman. Rios, who is coming off a unanimous-decision loss to Mike Alvarado last March, expressed confidence he will end Pacquiao's fabled ring career.
"I'll be in the best shape of my life. I'm coming 100 percent ready. Mentally and physically ready. I'll let you concentrate on being a congressman. I've got to go in there and I gotta retire you. I've got to retire Manny Pacquiao, because I'm the next star."
Pacquiao promptly refuted Rios' claim when Kellerman asked him if he still has it.
"I believe that I can prove to the people that I can still fight and that my boxing career is not done yet. The most important thing is that I want to get back the trust and confidence of the fans...I have a 100 percent desire to continue my boxing career...I'm not old. I'm still young."
The bout, which will be held at Macau's Venetian casino resort, will be Pacquiao's first fight outside the United States since 2006, when he beat Mexico's Oscar Larios by unanimous decision in Manila.
Pacquiao's overall record stands at 54-5-2 with 38 knockouts while Rios' is 31-1-1 with 23 stoppages.
Poch de la Rosa
Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.
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