Pacquiao dominates Rios
By Chris Williams: In a card filled with mismatches from top to bottom, 34-year-old Manny Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KO’s) defeated fellow Top Rank stable fighter Brandon Rios (31-2-1, 23 KO’s) by a 12 round unanimous decision on Saturday night in Cotai Arena, Venetian Resort, Macao, Macao S.A.R., China. The final judges scores were 120-108, 119-109, 118-110.
Pacquiao was able to hit the much slower Rios by at will with shots and make him miss when he would attempt to land his own power shots. Pacquiao’s movement and fast hands proved to be way too much for the slow-footed, slow-handed Rios.
Rios used a high guard to block a lot of the incoming from Pacquiao, but due to the sheer enormity of punches from the Filipino, he was able to swell up Rios’ face and cut over the left eye. Pretty much the only time that Rios was able to land with any regularity in the fight was when he was in close and Pacquiao was holding onto him. In those occasions, Rios would nail Pacquiao with punch after punch to the head or to the body. Pacquiao, who doesn’t fight a lot of guys with inside skills, would look at the referee for help, as if Rios was doing something wrong by fighting on the inside. The referee even warned Rios on a number of occasions simply because he was fighting on the inside. You have to feel sorry for Rios because he was fighting a much more popular fighter who was getting all the breaks with the referee.
Rios came into the fight having been dominated in his last fight against Mike Alvarado, so this was more of the same. They didn’t want to match Pacquiao against someone too good in his first fight back from being knocked cold by Juan Manuel Marquez last December.
After the fight Larry Merchant asked Pacquiao who he wants to fight, and he said “It’s up to my promoter.” His promoter Bob Arum has been talking about possibly matching Pacquiao up against Tim Bradley, Ruslan Provodnikov, Marquez, and Floyd Mayweather Jr. You can rule out all of them except for Bradley for his next fight. Marquez already said no, and Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach doesn’t want him fighting Provodnikov, who Roach also trains. Mayweather Jr. won’t be able to fight Pacquiao because of a whole list of reasons starting with Pacquiao’s asking price being too high for the fight. As such, it’s going to be Bradley facing Pacquiao next, and that’ll be about as boring as tonight’s fight.
The undercard of tonight’s fight was simply dreadful. I can’t remember seeing such a poorly stocked undercard in terms of big named fighters and competitive fights. They were all mismatches and it was really horrible, because the main event didn’t make up for it.
Other fights on the card
Evgeny Gradovich TKO 9 Billy Dib
Andy Ruiz Jr. TKO 4 Tor Hamer
Zou Shiming UD 6 Juan Toscano
Felix Verdejo UD 6 Petchsamuthr Duanaaymukdahan
Rex Tso TKO 1 Susu Sithjadeang
Kuck Kun Ng UD 4 You-Jie Zeng
Ik Yang MD 6 Hero Tito
Harmonito Dela Torre KO 3 Jason Butar Butar