Manny Pacquiao and Brandon Rios won’t face off for almost four months, but the two have already begun to promote their next fight. The boxers are set to throw down on Nov.24 in Macau, China, and they began the week with a visit to the country that will host the bout.
On Monday, Pacquiao and Rios visited the Great Wall of China, even racing up the steps for a few moments. Pac-Man joked about the visit making him realize that Rios will be a tough opponent.
"Now I know that I've got my work cut out for me after racing against Brandon up those steps," Pacquiao said, according to Brandon Rios's official website. "He's already in good condition! This is my third visit to Beijing and it always seems so new to me. It's a great cultural experience that is saturated in history."
The boxers took picture together at the Great Wall, as well as in Tiananmen Square. Rios's fight against Pacquiao will be the biggest of his career, and he was in awe after the tour.
"I can't believe the beauty I have seen in Macau and Beijing," Rios said. "I have seen a life and culture I never imagined. It's been an incredible experience for me. The media and the fans have been wonderful. I know I take a little getting used to, but they seem to understand my sense of humor. I think some of them think I'm Chinese. The only other time I fought outside the U.S. was in Mexico back in 2008, against Ricardo Dominguez, and a lot of people thought I was Chinese there, too."
It’s been years since either Pacquiao or Rios fought outside of the United States. Pac-Man’s previous four fights have been at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, and he last had a match in another country in 2006 when he defeated Oscar Larios. Rios’s last fight on foreign soil came against Daniel Valenzuela in 2009.
"This is a good opportunity for boxers like us to fight in Macau,” Pacquiao said last week. “It's a new market. We want to market boxing in China. I don't know whether I will finish my career in Macau, it's up to my promoter. But I'm happy to be fighting in Macau because this city is very close to the Philippines and there's no jet lag."
Pacquiao and Rios have been promoting the fight together, but both are eager to win once they step inside the ring. Pac-Man hasn’t won since November 2011, and Rios is looking to prove himself against an elite opponent.
Despite losing back-to-back bouts, it would be a big upset if Pacquiao were to lose. According to the online betting Web site Bovada, his odds to win the fight have been set at -500. Rios comes in at +350.