Manny Pacquiao returned to the ring after nearly a year since his blistering knock out defeat against Marquez. Few people were concerned about the possible impact that this may have on Manny, but we were all in for a near perfect performance by the Philippine fighter who had truly dominated the sport for the past 5 years to fight in front of a sell out crowd in the amazing venue in Macau China which Bob Arum will be using to bring boxing to this nation with a huge potential audience (and money) for the sport and promoters.
The pre fight stuff became somewhat ugly as scenes of Pacquiaos trainer nearly coming to blows against the Rios team at a gym, whereby Roach very nearly got assaulted by a team member of Rios after a few verbal’s from both sides. Not particularly palatable, given the fact that Roach suffers from Parkinsons disease and the history around previous confrontations with both camps over the past 2 years was bound to boil over into some kind of slanging match before the bell had sounded in Macau. See the video below for the whole incident.
The fight itself was 12 rounds of superb Pacquiao speed, footwork, punch stats numbers and the obvious frustration of Rios as the fight developed in the mid to later rounds with Manny sending flurries of head and body shots to Rios when by the time he could return the favour, Pacquiao was no where to be seen. The fight was to be a shut out win for Pacquiao with Bam Bam showing signs of absolute frustration,
My main comment about Rios is that he is certainly a world class fighter and went the full 12 rounds with arguably the best fighter in the weight class, but was seen to be in total survival mode for the last 4 rounds. He took most of Pacquiaos punches well, but just couldnt break through the tight guard of the Pacman.
Pacquiao on the other hand showed he is still the number one ranked contender in the weight class, and is still a uniquely skilled, durable and dangerous fighter who is not on his way down from his peak performances against our own Ricky Hatton as many have suggested.
I am thoroughly looking forward to the next Pacman outing and have not counted him out to dominate the division for the next couple of years, unless he retires to pursue his political work in the Philippines. What ever is next for him, i am sure it will be truly spectacular.