MACAU – The beating Brandon Rios took for all of 12 rounds from Manny Pacquiao left Freddie Roach amazed by how tough a warrior the American fighter is.
“Brandon is a very tough, tough guy. He took a lot of shots,” Roach said about the all-action Rios, a former World Boxing Association lightweight champion. “I’m not sure how he stood up the whole time.”
Rios absorbed a second straight loss this year, although the fight against Pacquiao was his most decisive setback as he only won two rounds in the scorecard of judge Manfred Kuchler (3rd and 8th), one round from Lisa Giampa (8th), and none in the card of Michael Pernick.
So outclassed was Rios that blood flowed freely from a cut above his left eye in the later rounds, while there was an obvious huge lump just above his right eye when the match was over.
They Said It!
“I don’t see a lot of people standing up after all the punches he took. He took a beating like a man." - Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach on Brandon Rios
For standing up to the Pacman the entire bout, Roach was gracious enough to compliment Rios for his courage.
“I don’t see a lot of people standing up after all the punches he took,” said the 53-year-old Roach. “He took a beating like a man.”
But Roach felt Pacquiao could have gotten a knockout if he wanted to especially in the final round. Unfortunately, he said "compassion got in the way."
“Yeah, he took it easy. He didn’t step on the gas pedal,” said the Filipino’s longtime trainer. “I think he had the chance. He was beating him every round.”
Nonetheless, Roach was satisfied with the way Pacquiao bounced back from back-to-back losses last year.
“He let him off the hook. I would have wanted a knockout, but overall, I am very happy.”