“I’m so 3008, you so 2000 and late.”
Fergie, from “Boom Boom Pow!”
So, I get to Chinatown, and then in front of Jing Fong Restaurant on 20 Elizabeth Street. But I’m forced to do a double take.
More like 3 or 4.
Its stinks like a urinal has been turned upside down right in front of the place by zombies from “World War Z” (which I had just seen), and there’s not really any buzz or many people outside. The scaffolding and outside décor don’t seem to suit a multi-million dollar extravaganza featuring the best fighter of the entire Asian peninsula.
I have to eat here? Ilk.
There’s a discrepancy concerning my media credential at the door to add to my stink-filled problems, and once solved, I notice what looks like a large cartel mass exiting the premises as clandestine as they can.
“Son-of-a-bitch! I bet that’s Pacquiao’s camp. Damn it!” I snapped to the caravan of vehicles leaving.
But alas, all wasn’t lost, and there was still a lot of data to collect. Considering that the ubiquitous Top Rank model girls were still in uniform and in forced grins, things were still official. Such as the chat I had with Bob Arum about a few things. Once inside, Jing Fong was actually quite extravagant and not the one-dimensional mess it seemed on the outside.
“Jing Fong is the largest Dim Sum restaurant in NYC”, chimed Arum. “They’ve been celebrating authentic Chinese food and traditional Hong Kong style Dim Sum for over 30 years. Not everything is always as it seems, John.”
I’m still not even sure what “Dim Sum” is, but the food was great. And to Bob’s point, to look at Manny Pacquiao’s late November opponent on that late, hot summer day, he didn’t seem to look like anything special either. That is, until you talked to him.
"I am going to knock that little m%ther @ f*&^er out!" said Brandon Rios, during my 2-minute hurry up talk with him. He said a lot of things, and I liked him. But there was something I saw on video from him moments earlier that was pretty revealing about what he said- and how the fight will go.
There was a Spanish television station reporter pretty happy with some film he'd gotten from Pacquiao and Rios. Brandon was being interviewed by him when all of a sudden, Pacquiao intervened, taking the mic away and finishing the interview with Rios himself. When finished, Pacquiao looked to walk off, but then Rios intervened.
"Hold up homie, where you going? Its my turn!" exclaimed Rios, before grabbing the mic himself.
It was friendly enough, but it caught Pacquiao off guard in a very uncongressional way. Brandon Rios is not going to have any regard for his eight world championships in as many divisions, or him, in any way. I believe that singular moment, prior to Manny's exit, catapulted a nasty, almost "Duran-like" drive in him to train like never before. A drive, that is compelling him to compete for a throne he dreamed about as a starving vagabond on the poor streets on General Santos City in the Phillipines. The way he looked at Rios before he left contained a split second of disdain and contempt.
It is also how he would look at 80's battler Livingstone Bramble were they to fight. And of course, Rios would have no problem incensing Youngstown Ohio's favorite son, Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini.
Brandon "Bam Bam" Rios vs. Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini
How's that for a set of names?
I can only imagine Rios coming to the ring to the Black Eyed Peas ultra-magnetic hit "Boom Boom Pow" in an electrifying setting. What a fight this would be. Rios reminds me of that old "Etch-a-Sketch" game in the 80's where you drew things in straight lines. That's how he fights. There's not much subtlety or variety in the way he attacks- just straight forward bravado and thudding menace. "Boom Boom" for his part, was an iconic battler who pressed and pressed behind his combination power punching way, and was the ultimate crowd pleaser. It is an absolute WAR for the 6 or 7 rounds it lasts, before Rios knocks out Mancini. Brandon digs deeper and has more intestinal fortitiude than Ray, who could be broken down by a sustained fierce attack, as Bramble showed. And that's just what "Bam Bam" would do.
Rios over the classy Mancini by 7th round KO.
Manny Pacquiao vs. Livingstone Bramble
Bramble was the trouble making sort. He insulted a depressed and sulking Ray Mancini into a rage following his comeback to the sport after inadvertantly killing Duk Koo-Kim in 1982. He stalked Mancini with taunts during the run-up to their fight, and the mad Rastafarian even had a voodoo doll on Mancini (that seemed to work actually). Facing Pacquiao would present a different type of dilemma for Bramble, for that type of bulletin board material would work against him. Bramble was a dynamic combination puncher in an almost robotic way, and could switch form righty to lefty in a flash. He very fun to watch.
And it would be fun to watch Pacquiao utterly destroy him.
I'll never forget the sight of Puerto Rican great Edwin "Chapo" Rosario dismantling him in 2 rounds with a single punch. Pacquiao would punish and mercilessly abuse him in a sadistic way during an intense and entertaining fight.
Pacquiao by 5th round KO over the crazy and demented Bramble.