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Ex-champion Jones says Pacquiao can rebound from KO loss

Former light heavyweight champion Roy Jones Jr. during the official weigh-in ceremony for the Manny Pacquiao-Brandon Rios welterweight fight at the CotaiArena at the Venetian Macao on Saturday. ALDER ALMO

MACAU – Former light heavyweight champion Roy Jones, Jr. thinks that Manny Pacquiao has what it takes to bounce back from that brutal sixth round knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez.

Jones, who is in the world’s gambling capital as part of the HBO broadcast team, said that it’s not a question of Pacquiao having the heart to redeem himself but rather how will Brandon Rios fare against the former eight-division champion.

“Oh yes, Pacquiao can definitely bounce back. That’s not a question. If that doesn’t happen, it won’t be because Pacquiao can’t bounce back but because Brandon is a smarter player,” Jones told Philstar.com after joining the broadcast panel for the live telecast of the weigh-in on Saturday at the Cotai Arena here.

The fighting Congressman from Sarangani tipped the scales at 145 lbs.

Rios, who gamely engaged the partisan crowd which greeted him with loud boos, was slightly heavier at 146.5 lbs.

While Rios is the bigger and younger fighter, Jones has so much respect for Pacquiao giving him the edge but cautioned not to take his challenger lightly.

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“Pacquiao can try to make it easy by boxing and fighting smart but Brandon has a big heart,” said the 44-year-old Jones, who is the only boxer in history to start at middleweight and win a heavyweight title when he beat John Ruiz for the WBA belt in 2003.

“Pacquiao is definitely the better fighter and boxer but you can’t count a fighter out,” added Jones.

Jones, also a former super middleweight champion, is preparing for his own comeback fight in December against former cruiserweight contender Bobby Gunn.

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