Manny "Pac-Man" Pacquiao defeated Brandon "Bam Bam" Rios by unanimous decision, and the fact that he was unable to knock out Rios will not come back to haunt him.
While many believed Pacquiao needed a knockout victory to resurrect his career, the match he fought was more than enough to re-establish his dominance.
Even though the first four rounds of the fight weren't dominated by either fighter, Pacquiao was in great position entering round No. 5—the round in which he eventually took over. In that round, Pacquiao landed 22 of 40 punches, including a devastating left to Rios' head at the beginning of the round.
From that point on, Pacquiao had Rios on the ropes. Sure, Rios rarely lost his balance and fell to the mat, but Pacquiao kept feeding him a steady diet of body shots that eventually wore him down.
Pacquiao's attack was so consistent that it appeared as if he never let up after round No. 5. He literally dominated Rios. Rios was given a few opportunities here and there to land some big hits, but they were ultimately overshadowed by the countless punches landed by Pacquiao.
Needing a knockout to re-establish his career was an idea proposed by many when the possibility of fighting Floyd "Money" Mayweather came up yet again.
Promoter Bob Arum told Australia's 1116 SEN Radio on November 3 (via BoxingScene) that Pacquiao would need to prove himself before a fight with Money would become a reality.
Many took this to mean that Pacquiao would need to knock out Rios to meet these parameters. But a knockout may not have given Pac-Man ample opportunities to display that his full repertoire is back at full strength.
By dominating the entire match, Pacquiao was able to show that he can fight consistently over the course of a full bout. He proved that he can withstand the powerful punches of a much younger fighter while also landing plenty of hits of his own.
The lack of a knockout punch against Rios will not define the remainder of Pacquiao's career. He showed the quality of fighter that he is, and knocking out Rios—while impressive—would not have allowed him to display his resurgence.