MACAU – Manny Pacquiao’s greatness isn’t over yet. His overwhelming victory over Brandon Rios is one concrete proof of it.
The Filipino southpaw silenced critics who claimed he’s already over the hill with his emphatic win over a tough fighting opponent seven years younger than him.
Pacquiao won the 12-round welterweight bout by lopsided decision, with Rios – surprisingly – winning just three rounds in the scorecards of the three judges.
“I told them this is not my time yet. My journey will continue,” said the Fighter of the Decade at the post-fight press conference held at the main ballroom hall of the Venetian Hotel here.
Calls for Pacquiao to finally leave the sport that has been good to him mounted last year when he lost two straight fights for the first time in his career. The last of those pair of setbacks was a shocking one as the eight-time world champion was knocked out cold by Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez in the fourth episode of their long-storied rivalry.
But Pacquiao quickly dismissed the notion by putting a show reminiscent of the old, exciting Pacman the world has come to known.
“Before the fight I already said I will be like the old Manny Pacquiao and I think I showed that tonight,” he stressed.
Pacquiao totally outpunched and outworked his younger opponent as gleamed in the CompuBox.
The Sarangani province congressman connected on 281 out of 790 punches thrown for a 36 percent accuracy, while Rios only managed to land 138 of 502 punches for 27 percent.
For trainer Freddie Roach, there was no doubt the old Manny is back.
“He fought a perfect fight. The body shots killed him (Rios),” said Roach, 53. “I think he can finish off Rios, but the thing is, he became sensitive. Overall, I think he boxed very well.”