Pacquiao is back, beats Rios in 12 rounds
MANILA, Philippines– With a fight that went the distance, eight-time world champion Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao made his comeback known with a convincing victory over Brandon “Bambam” Rios at their bout held at the Cotai Arena at the Venetian.
Dubbed as The Clash in Cotai, the 12-rounder saw Pacquiao dominate the bigger Rios landing uppercuts and straights, with the southpaw cruising to a unanimous decision victory, 120-108, 119-109, 118-110, adding the WBO International Welterweight Championship belt to his impressive trophy case.
Pacquiao, coming off two straight defeats, took a careful approach against the hard-hitting Rios who looked like a smaller Antonio Margarito after the southpaw landed quality power punches.
“I wanted to give a good show,” said Pacquiao who put on a methodical showcase throughout the 12 rounds.
From the opening bell, Pacquiao threw his left straights as if it were jabs, landing massive blows to the head of Rios who sustained a cut above his left eye in the fourth round.
A tired Rios only to land light jabs, relying on the clinch to hit power punches on the smaller Pacquiao with the former nursing a swollen right eye after his left brow blew open.
Continuous combinations opened up the match for Pacquiao as he took the driver seat as early as the fifth round then maintained his careful pace until the final bell.
Though Rios managed to bring the fight to the ropes, but Pacquiao’s evasiveness dwindled the Mexican’s chances of landing points in score card as Pacquiao’s constant counters proved too much.
In an act of pure sportsmanship from the Filipino, Pacquiao gave his felled opponent a hug after the bell signified the bout’s end.
Get the hottest sports news straight into your inbox
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.