The critics weren't expecting Manny Pacquiao to come into his big fight against Brandon Rios and fight well, but he proved that he's still one of the best fighters in the world with a dominating victory.
Right off of the bat, Pacquiao landed some solid shots. At one point in the first round, Bam Bam slipped in the ring. He was able to land a few nice shots, but it was all Pacquiao from the start.
The second round started off with an insane pace. Overall, it looked like Rios had a better overall round, but Pacquiao was the busier and more effective puncher.
The third round was all Pacquiao as well, even with Rios landing some solid shots after getting Pac-Man in the corner. Pacquiao slipped out and landed a nice counter, then landed a flurry of shots. The fourth was much of the same, but Rios was able to land some really solid shots when the two were tied up that could have helped him steal the round on the scorecard.
The fifth round is where Pacquiao started to break away. He landed a devastating straight left hand on Rios that sent him back, then proceeded to dominate him throughout the rest of the round. In the next one, Pac-Man showed off another nice straight and kept landing shots in bunches, even creating a cut on Bam Bam's left eye.
Pacquiao just kept dominating the later rounds. Due to the fact that he had been hit so little, Pacquiao was surprisingly fresh throughout the fight, and he kept landing plenty of combos. Rios kept getting hit, and his face was getting worse and worse throughout.
By the end of the fight, there was no denying that Pacquiao was the winner. He stood after the fight almost completely unscathed, while it looked like Rios couldn't even see. According to Kevin Iole from Yahoo! Sports, one judge had Pacquiao winning all 12 rounds.
Judges have it 120-108, 119-109 and 118-1110 for Pacquiao— Kevin Iole (@KevinI) November 24, 2013
It looks like Pacquiao isn't done yet. Looking back, it really isn't surprising that Pacquiao was able to win. Sure, he had lost his last two fights, but one was by an incredibly controversial decision against Timothy Bradley, and the other was by a devastating knockout against Juan Manuel Marquez, although it felt like he was winning the fight before the hit.
However, for Rios, he's going to struggle to get another top-tier fight again. He's now lost two straight fights, and he was simply destroyed in his first real test. If he does get another chance at some more respectable fighters, he's going to need to prove himself and come out with wins if he has any hopes of moving up the rankings.
Overall, this was an absolute dominant performance by Pacquiao, and while there were talks of him retiring before the fight, he made sure to let everyone know that he wasn't done yet.
What's next for Manny? Many are hoping for a fight against Floyd Mayweather, but we will just have to wait and see whom the legendary fighter will be going up against in his next bout.