Pacquiao vs. Rios Decision: Assessing the Scorecards from Macau Fight

Christopher AtkinsContributor INovember 24, 2013

MACAU - NOVEMBER 24:  Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines celebrates winning against Brandon Rios of the U.S. during their 'Clash in Cotai' WBO International Welterweight title fight on November 24, 2013 in Macau.  (Photo by Nicky Loh/Getty Images)
Nicky Loh/Getty Images

Manny Pacquiao put on a top-class display of boxing at the Cotai Arena in Macau to leave American opponent Brandon Rios bloodied as he claimed a unanimous points decision.

The judges disagreed slightly, but each handed only two rounds or less to the underdog with the fight scored 120-108, 119-109 and 118-110 on the three judges' scorecards. It was as emphatic as they come, with one judge handing every round to the now WBA International Welterweight champion.

Rios will gain credit for withstanding the onslaught he received, but Pacquiao was the class boxer on show, and calls for a long-awaited fight with Floyd Mayweather have already reignited.

Pac-Man may never have his career-defining match with the American, but he has proven that he is still a class above most at his weight level.

So, just where did he lose points in what had seemed an entirely dominant performance?

Per Boxrec, judge Michael Pernick handed every round to Pacquiao. Lisa Giampa handed Round 8 to Rios, while Manfred Kuechler also scored Round 3 in the American's favour.

Round 3 had been the first opportunity Rios had to come into the fight, starting aggressively in an attempt to put the Filipino under some pressure for the first time.

Rios managed some good combinations, but the round was still very much Pacquiao's, as his excellent movement shone through. It was closer than earlier rounds but difficult to score in Rios' favour.

Round 8, meanwhile, was the closest of the fight. Pacquiao let down his defences somewhat and allowed Rios to throw punches into the body.

The former champion landed a couple of blows in the late stages of the round, but Round 8 is the one that is understandable if it was scored in the underdog's favour.

For much of the rest of the fight, it was a boxing masterclass from Pacquiao, controlling the tempo of the fight and landing some heavy blows on the unfortunate Rios.

That Rios lasted 12 Rounds is a real testament to his ability to withstand punishment, and he will have easier title shots in his career.

He came up against a supreme fighter on this occasion, and Pacquiao's experience allowed him to manipulate the fight at will. It was a stunning display of boxing intelligence.