By: Dallas Orysiuk
People questioned if Manny Pacquiao had gotten too old, they questioned his hunger and they questioned if he would still have it after the Marquez KO… well last night Manny Pacquiao answered those questions. Pacquiao said he wanted to punish Rios, and he did; turning him into a punching bag for 12 rounds.
Manny Pacquiao started strong and kept up the pace the entire night. For the first few rounds Rios had his moments, coming in behind the jab and making his way inside. When he got on the inside and made it ugly, Rios would land some powerful punches, hitting with his free hand and landing primarily to the body. But after a few rounds Rios was baffled and couldn’t keep up with Pacquiao’s speed and footwork.
Pacquiao hit Rios with the entire arsenal and would then get out of the way with superb footwork. Pacquiao displayed tremendous hand speed, landing double and sometimes triple left hands. He landed jabs and lots of right hooks. Despite Rios’ inability to fall to the canvas, Pacquiao showed the power and hunger that some had thought he lost. Meanwhile as the fight progressed Rios looked more and more like the punching bag that he said he wasn’t.
Rios falls to 31-2-1 (23 KOs) and has now lost two straight. After his last two fights, it is clear that Rios is limited and will never be much more than a slugger. He will put on some entertaining shows if he is matched right and will earn some nice victories; but for now I think Rios needs a rest and a soft touch. He has been in some brutal wars and needs to take it easy for a while because if not he is heading towards a path of brain damage.
Manny Pacquiao improved to 55-5-2 (38 KOs) and looked good in the process. It is unlikely, but Pacquiao looked good and at least the victory keeps the slightest hope for the long overdueMayweather/Pacquiao showdown sometime down the road. But for now I think Pacquiao will look to avenge one of his earlier defeats, either against Juan Manuel Marquez or Timothy Bradley.by