Rios enjoys Macau as he awaits Pacquiao face-off

MACAU – If the stakes are higher than ever for Brandon Rios, he didn’t show any feelings of nervousness when he strolled into the Venetian Resort for the final press conference for Saturday’s HBO2-televised tripleheader, headlined by Chinese Olympic hero Zou Shiming’s second pro bout against Mexico’s Jesus Ortega.

The former WBA lightweight titleholder Rios, flanked by his trainer Robert Garcia and his stablemate/RING featherweight champion Mikey Garcia, was his usual playful self, using this reporter’s microphone to jab at his trainer’s backside, while entertaining anyone in the vicinity with his trademark charming vulgarity. Rios is enjoying himself, so much so that he remarked that Macau was “way better than Vegas.”

Just two days from now, Rios will get his first up-close look at Manny Pacquiao, the once universally recognized best boxer on the planet, for the first of seven stops on a 23,722-mile worldwide media tour to promote their November 23 bout at the Venetian.

“I’m kind of anxious and excited to meet this guy face-to-face,” said the 27-year-old Rios (31-1, 23 KOs) of Oxnard, Calif. “I’ve seen him at a distance but not face-to-face, so I’m very excited.”

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