Rios an open target as Pacquiao expected
MACAU—Manny Pacquiao knew Brandon Rios will be an open target through the fight tapes of his rival.
True enough, Pacquiao turned the headliner of “The Clash in Cotai” into a virtual gym workout with a lopsided unanimous decision over the game but outclassed Rios Sunday.
“Even before we fought, I know my punches will connect,” Pacquiao told Filipino sportswriters at the master bedroom of his suite at The Venetian Macao Monday morning.
“All that we did in training happened accordingly.”
Pacquiao, donning a white-shirt underneath a black leather jacket, is resting on the bed with his pregnant wife Jinkee. They were accommodating a steady stream of visitors, including confidant Chavit Singson, the former governor of Ilocos Sur.
The Pacquiaos, Sarangani representative and vice governor, respectively, flew back to General Santos City with relatives and supporters via a chartered flight in the afternoon.
Exploiting his quickness and hand speed, Pacquiao bombarded Rios with a total of 281 punches in a classy performance that put him back on top of boxing’s elite.
Pacquiao said he found no need to finish off the plodding Rios because he was way ahead on the scorecards from the opening bell. He brushed aside Rios’ claim that his punches did not hurt.
“That’s not true,” Pacquiao said. “He got hurt. I know because when I hit him, the pain crept up to my shoulder. That’s because of the impact.”
Pacquiao, who had Rios missing badly when he spun around or side-stepped, however, credited the American of Mexican lineage for being very tough.
“With the volume of punches he received, I’m surprised he was still up on his feet.”
Executing his game plan perfectly, Pacquiao found the come-forward Rios a sucker for his counter body shots. Pacquiao said he was just being cautious.
“We’re back,” said Pacquiao.
Mike Koncz, Pacquiao’s adviser, interjected: “We never left.”
Your weekly sports analysis
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.