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    Roach sets aside rift with Ariza to let Pacquiao focus
    By Alder Almo Updated Saturday November 23, 2013 - 4:14pm

    Manny Pacquiao works the mitts with Freddie Roach during a training session at the Venetian Resort in Macau. ABAC CORDERO

    MACAU - Unlike in his previous fights, Manny Pacquiao had no distractions this time leading to his comeback fight against Mexican-American Brandon Rios for the vacant WBO international welterweight belt.

    In a reversal of roles, it was Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach who got sidetracked.

    Roach was involved in a highly publicized scuffle with Rios' training camp in the final week of their preparations here.

    "We had no distraction whatsoever and to me, it's just Ariza, who kicked me like a girl," Roach told after the official weigh-in ceremony Saturday morning.

    But Roach insists that it won't be a distraction on Sunday when Pacquiao aims to bounce back from a disheartening sixth round knockout loss to archrival Juan Manuel Marquez last year.

    "No, I cannot and will not let that happen. We just have to fight the fight we trained for," Roach said when asked if that will be an added motivation for Pacquiao against Rios.

    The multi-awarded trainer is confident that Pacquiao will come out successful in his comeback bid and doesn't care what Rios' camps would do to bulk up Rios after appearing dehydrated during the official weigh-in.

    "I love it (Pacquiao's weight). I don't care about their (Rios' camp) preparation. What I only know is that Manny is ready to fight," Roach said.

    Roach liked their preparation so much that he was bold enough to declare that his prized fighter couldn't be beaten this time around after coming off two straight losses.

    "He's unbeatable," he said.


    (Editor's note: This special coverage of the Pacquiao-Rios fight here in Macau is made possible by Cebu Pacific Air, why every Juan flies.)

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