Boxing fans can hardly contain their excitement as the welterweight battle between Manny "Pac-Man" Pacquiao and Brandon "Bam Bam" Rios is quickly approaching, but before they go toe-to-toe in the ring on Saturday, they will cross paths at the weigh-in on Friday.
On the surface, a weigh-in should be little more than both fighters stepping on the scale, but things are rarely that simple. At the very least, there is always some jawing back and forth, and that can often escalate to full-scale brawls if things get out of hand.
Plenty of bad blood already exists between the Pacquiao and Rios camps, so observers should watch this one closely. Here is all the information you need to watch Friday's weigh-in, as well as a primer for what you should keep an eye on during the action.
Where: CotaiArena in Macau, China
When: Friday, Nov. 22 at 6:30 p.m. ET
Live Stream: TopRank.TV
Will Sparks Fly?
Based on the interactions between Pacquiao and Rios leading up to the fight, it seemed as though there was little more than a friendly rivalry at work. That is no longer the case, however, as the fighters' representatives got into a heated brawl at a Macau gym on Wednesday, according to Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports.
As seen in this photo courtesy of Yahoo! Sports, Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach and Rios trainer Robert Garcia were in the middle of it all.
Per Iole, the melee started when Garcia overstayed the gym time that was agreed upon by the two camps. This caused words to be exchanged, and it turned into an ugly scene as Garcia accused Roach of using racial slurs.
"The first thing he said was, 'Get out of here you piece of (expletive)," Garcia said. "That was the first thing he told me. I was like, 'What?' He was like, 'Get the (expletive) out of here.' He called me a piece of (expletive). Then he called my friend 'a (expletive) Mexican,' and he called (reporter) Elie (Seckbach), 'a (expletive) Jew.' What the (expletive) is that?"
Also, Roach said that Rios conditioning coach Alex Ariza made fun of his Parkinson's disease, so it's safe to say that both sides are waiting to explode.
Pacquiao and Rios are fairly mild-mannered in their own right, but they may not be able to stop their respective camps from going at each other again. It won't exactly be the classiest move if it does happen, but there is no question that it would help drive pay-per-view sales, if nothing else.
Rios Moving Up in Weight
All eyes will be on Roach and Garcia during the weigh-in, but it's important to remember that the act of weighing in means something to Rios. This is a welterweight bout, and Rios has never fought at the weight before. He has largely been a light welterweight and a lightweight, but moving up should be a natural progression for him considering his size.
Rios is 5'9", whereas Pacquiao is just under 5'7", so Rios has the frame necessary to pack on some more weight. With that said, it's never easy to say how the extra weight will impact a fighter.
It's possible that he has put on either too much or too little weight, and that could have an effect on the fight. It will be interesting to see if Rios passes the eye test on Friday in terms of looking as good or better than Pacquiao from a physical standpoint.
That is no easy task since Pac-Man is one of the most physically fit boxers in the sport, but Rios can potentially strike some fear in him if he shows up in the best shape of his career. We won't know how the excess weight will factor in until the fight happens, as it could help Rios' power but hurt his mobility. With that said, though, his weigh-in will be scrutinized if he doesn't show up looking cut.
The trash talk has already started between Roach and Garcia, but it's possible that Pacquiao and Rios will use Friday's forum to take some verbal shots at each other as well. Both men have been pretty tame over the past few months, but they haven't been saints by any means. According to ESPN Boxing, Rios hasn't been shy about telling the media that he intends to retire Pacquiao by defeating him.
Retirement is a hot-button issue for Pacquiao on the heels of losses to Juan Manuel Marquez and Timothy Bradley, and he didn't take kindly to Rios' proclamation, according to Michelle Joy Phelps of BehindTheGloves.com.
Although Pacquiao and Rios have both been basic in terms of trash talk thus far, they might be inspired to turn it up a notch at the weigh-in. Even if they don't necessarily dislike each other, bad blood between their camps may prompt them to turn up the heat a bit.
Pacquiao isn't a big talker, so Rios may have to rile him up, but there is definitely some potential for a war of words come Friday.
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