When last seen in the ring, Manny Pacquiao was lying face down on the canvas.
Pacquiao (55-5-2, 38 KOs) erased most of those bad memories by dominating iron-chinned Brandon Rios (31-2-1, 23 KOs) over 12-rounds to win a unanimous decision at the Venetian Macao's Cotai Arena in Macau, China.
The scores were 120-108, 119-109, 118-110.
Doghouseboxing.com scored the bout 120-108.
The bout was telecast live on HBO Pay Per View.
Pacquaio opened the fight at a measured pace. A lead left knocked Rios back a step.
Rios tried to work his jab, but couldn’t find Pacquiao. Pacquiao opened up with a combination near the end of the round that snapped back the head of Rios.
Pacquiao warmed up to the task in rounds two and three. The thirty-four-year old used his legs to dart to the left and right. Rios followed, but couldn’t pull the trigger. Every time he thought about it, Pacquiao would punch him in the mouth. Rios did land a sweeping left that had no effect on Pacquaio.
Rios stalked Pacquiao in rounds four and five. His plan was to setup his punches with his jab. The problem he faced was two-fold. Pacquiao would stand in the pocket and punch, but move away as soon Rios was set.
Rios landed a jab - followed by a left hook in round six. Pacquiao peppered Rios with lefts and rights. His activity was overwhelming Rios. A huge left caused Rios to stick his tongue out at Pacquiao and grin.
Rios, 27, was walking straight in while Pacquiao worked angles. In rounds seven and eight, Pacquiao landed a salvo of shots to the head and body. Rios absorbed them all. He had no answer.
Pacquiao opened up in round nine like a fighter who wanted the knockout. He couldn’t miss Rios. He strafed him with lightening fast shots.
In rounds 10 and 11, the one-sided beat down continued. A crowd of 13,101 adored the mismatch, chanting "Manny! Manny!" frequently.
Pacquiao was dominating the fight in every conceivable way. Rios was being punished. A sweeping right knocked Rios off balance. A five-punch combination stung Rios.
Round 12 resembled the other 11. Before the bout, Pacquiuao had said he wanted to show the boxing world that he still could fight.
Rios might be a limited brawler, but his heart is as big as China. He seemed relieved when the final bell rang.
"I was winning the whole fight, winning every round," Pacquiao said. "That's what mattered."
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