MACAU – Probably it was just the machismo of Brandon Rios talking.
Manny Pacquiao isn’t buying Rios’ claim that he wasn’t hurt nor stunned during their 12-round welterweight showdown on Sunday that saw the Filipino pride beat the American to a pulp for the entire 12 rounds.
Pacquiao won the fight before a sellout crowd at the Cotai Arena in lopsided manner, leaving Rios with marks on both eyes, including a huge lump just above his right eyebrow.
Yet, the 27-year-old American bragged during the post-fight press conference that Pacquiao never hurt him, citing the eight-time world champion’s quickness and awkwardness as the major differences during the fight.
[For full story, see With a straight face, battered Rios insists Pacman 'didn't hurt me one bit']
When told about it, Pacquiao was incredulous.
“Paanong di nasaktan, e tumatama `yung mga suntok ko?,” he said to a small group of visitors who went to see him at his luxurious suite at the 38th floor of the Venetian Hotel Monday morning, just hours before his entourage departed back to the Philippine en route to General Santos City.
They Said It!
“Paanong di nasaktan, e tumatama `yung mga suntok ko?" - Manny Pacquiao reacting to claims by Brandon Rios that he wasn't hurt by the Filipino boxer's punches
“Marunong lang siya kamong magdala,” added the boxing star, who was clad in a black leather jacket over black pants while sitting beside former Ilocos Sur governor Chavit Singson and pregnant wife Jinkee.
Pacquiao, 34, battered the slow-moving Rios from just about every angle, connecting on 281 of 790 punches thrown that easily evoked the explosive Pacman of old.
He later stressed what trainer Freddie Roach had earlier pointed out, insisting that it was the boxing champion’s body blows that `killed Rios.”
“Hindi siya (Rios) maka-counter kasi tinatamaan ko siya ng body shots,” said Pacquiao (55-5-2, 38 KOs), whose impressive victory heralded a successful ring comeback after losing his last two fights to Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez.
The ring idol added he had Rios all figured out even before the first bell rang.
“Bago pa lang kami maglaban,” he answered when asked by Philippine Star veteran reporter Gilbert `Abac’ Cordero on how certain he was that his punches were felt by Rios.
Although he had minor welts in his face, Pacquiao looked fresh and fulfilled with the latest win chalked up at the expense of a baldy-outclassed Rios.
His eyes lit up when someone in the room shouted, "We’re back."
“Yes, we’re back,” the champ replied as he exchanged high fives with the few remaining visitors left.
To which his longtime adviser Michael Konz snapped back, “He (Pacquiao) never really left.”