Mission accomplished. Manny Pacquiao (55-5-2) completely dismantled an overmatched Brandon Rios (31-2-1) on Saturday night in Macao, China. C.J. Ross would have had a hard time finding a round Rios won, but oddly enough two of the three judges did. In what should have been a complete shutout, Pacquiao still won by unanimous decision. Here are the official scorecards, per BoxRec.com:
Judge: Lisa Giampa 109-119 | judge: Michael Pernick 108-120 | judge: Manfred Kuechler 110-118
Who should Pacquiao fight next?
Rios is going to need to have the imprint of Pacquiao’s left hand surgically removed from his face. It was the most damaging weapon in a vast arsenal Pacquiao unleashed. The Filipino legend used as much movement as we’ve seen from him in years. The performance was a perfect mixture of speed, boxing acumen and firepower.
The fight looked a lot like Pacquiao’s bout with Antonio Margarito. Rios was a big, stationary target and Pacquiao simply had a field day. Because of the sheer mismatch in styles, it is hard to know how Pacquiao would perform against a more talented fighter.
His hand and foot speed was very impressive, but his opponent was outclassed from the opening bell.
going back to his last 3 fights, most thought Pac beat Bradley, was looking good vs JMM till the last punch and just beat Rios decisively #— Steve Kim (@stevemaxboxing) November 24, 2013
Before the fight, many questioned what would happen if Pacquiao took a big shot. The speed advantage was such that Rios never even had a chance to put Pacquiao’s chin to the test.
It is unclear what Rios’ game plan was, but we never saw it materialize. For a time, it looked as if going to the body was the strategy, but that was abandoned after the second round. It is quite possible survival became the only objective after it was clear he had nothing to stop Pacman’s onslaught.
"I fought one of the greatest fighters in the world. Other than that I stood by my game plan." Rios— Isaac Estrada (@RealBoxingNews) November 24, 2013
The talk will now shift to who’s next for Pacquiao. A rematch with Juan Manuel Marquez is interesting, as is a second fight with Timothy Bradley. It goes without saying that a superfight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. would make every boxing fan smile, but Pacquiao would likely need a win over someone more substantial first.
Don't be surprised to see Pacquiao-Marquez V next. Biggest (makable) money fight out there for both.— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) November 24, 2013
For those who still have a thirst for the fight, this display was obviously a step in the right direction. At the very least, Pacquiao still has the hand speed and punching accuracy to be dangerous.
Perhaps his next fight will challenge him more than this one did.
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