Manny Pacquiao Schools Brandon Rios In Shutout Victory
All night long; Manny kept painting Rios
One more for the Boxing Gipper?
Manny “PacMan” Pacquiao, rallied his ring worn but well conditioned body to confound anyone, especially the Garcia camp, that Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios would defeat him and pack him to retirement.
It was a well-orchestrated plan of boxing strategy by his “Guru” trainer Freddy Roach, at the Cotai Arena, Venetian Hotel, Macao, China, on Saturday, November 23, 2013.
Remember, Rios’ repeatedly boasting, “one Mexican knocked him out and this Mexican will retire him”? Well, it never happened.
Pacquiao scored a land slide 12 round shutout unanimous decision to win the vacant W.B.O. International Welterweight title, but more importantly, proved to an anxious world-wide community of Pacquiao fans that the PacMan was not “done” yet, and maybe the “crown-jewel” of a fight match with Floyd “Money” Mayweather was still “alive.”
The fight judges I am very happy to say were all in accord. Judges Lisa Giampa and Manfred Kuchler scored the fight 119-109 & 118-110, respectively, while Judge Michael Pernick scored 120-108, which was exactly my score. I did not award Rios a round.
You could not imagine, not even the fight expert analysts, before the fight, through- out all of the press conferences, interviews, the 24/7 and face-off cable shows and even during the fight itself, that the “PacMan” would “pitch” a boxing shutout, maybe a “no-hitter”, at the expense of the hard hitting Goliath from Oxnard, California, Rios, who weighed 146 1/2/ lbs. but, out-weighed-159 ½-Pacquiao, by 91/2 pounds on fight night. This fight was like a “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not”.
Pacquiao, who weighed 145 pounds, did not display any after-effects of his devastating knockout loss to Marquez almost a year ago because Roach “ordered” him not to get hit. “Keep boxing him, move to the left, move to the right, don’t stand in front and trade punches, stay off the ropes.” You could hear Roach repeat this sermon round after round.
This super fight plan was what saved Pacquiao from defeat. Yes, he did appear to be just as strong, fast, tricky, and speedy as ever, but he was very tentative. You could see it in his eyes, sense it in the cautious way he moved around the ring, as he followed Freddy Roach’s plan to the letter, and knowing that if he deviated from it, it would lead to fistic disaster, a loss, and guaranteed retirement.
What the Rios/Garcia Camp wanted and/or needed was for Pacquiao to make the mistake stand still and slug with him, but Roach was not about to let that happen. The result was that Bam Bam appeared to be way in over his head, confused, frustrated from round to round as he was bleeding from cuts on both eyes, his nose and mouth, as the right side of his face began to swell grotesquely. You could “read” the signs of defeat on his face like a clear road map as the fight progressed, even though he smiled foolishly every time Pacquiao hit him with a series of unanswered punches to his face and body.
You could almost imagine Rios saying to himself, “this dude is not washed up, he is tougher to hit than I thought and he is fast, he is hitting me with everything plus the kitchen sink. Manny, stop just once and I’ll get you.” In frustration Rios would swing wildly, hit on the break, and hit below the belt causing referee Genaro Rodriguez to warn him several times and threaten to deduct points if the fouls continued.
In my opinion it is Roach who should the get the credit for this masterful defensive plan performed by Pacquiao. This is what saved him to fight another day or maybe allow him to retire with glory if he wanted to, to please his wife Jinkee who is expecting their 4th child.
From the first round through the 12th round, Pacquiao displayed offensive and defensive skills that even before the knockout he had suffered by Marquez he had never utilized. There were times in some of his past fights that Pacquiao would fight with reckless abandon, but not this time there was too much at stake, and any wrong move would lead to fistic disaster.
Manny Pacquiao’s defense was his own offense since he actually forced Rios to “rope-a-dope”, throughout the fight to avoid getting hit constantly by his combination punches, and he-Rios- was not able to punch back.
I am totally convinced that Bam Bam Rios really believed in the fable that Pacquiao was really “washed up” after his knockout loss to Marquez, and this fight would be an easy victory for him. As I watched the fight, I remembered how Rios kept saying during some pre-fight interviews that,“ I am not Pacquiao’s sparring partner, nor his punching bag, I am here to win by knockout, and retire Manny. Well, Bam Bam Rios was indeed transformed into Pacquiao’s sparring partner and gym punching bag, at least for 12 rounds.
Tough man Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios in defeat did not disgrace himself, he is still very young-27-and able after some “R&R”, with his family to come back and redeem himself as the PacMan did last night, and fight other mega fights such as maybe with “The Siberian Rocky”, Ruslan Provodnikov, who was in attendance last night. Miguel Cotto was also in the audience, perhaps “scouting” Pacquiao.
Many fight fans may have been disappointed because they did not see the knockout by either party they wanted but it was a great “classic” fight of perseverance by a “gutsy” little man with a gigantic warrior’s heart who was fighting for redemption when many “wrote” him off. God’ Blessings, PacMan, you proved your greatness, you have my permission to retire now, if you wish.
The supporting fights were interesting in the sense that it showcased some promising talents. The opening bout featured Felix “El Diamante”-Diamond-Verdejo, 9-0, 6 knockouts, young Puerto Rican, ex-Olympian defeating Petchamuthr Duanaaymukdahan, 8-2, 1k.o. from Thailand in a 135 pound match. Petchamuthr risked serious injury by sticking out his tongue throughout the entire 6 rounds. Strange?
The “darling of China boxing”, Zou”Fist of Gold” Shiming, 3-0, 2 time Olympic Gold Medalist and I time Silver Medal winner, and trained by Freddy Roach, won his 3rd fight defeating, hapless, over matched, Juan Toscano, 4-0 in a 6 round fight that should’ve been stopped in the 1st round.
In a championship match for the N.A.B.F. & W.B.O. International Heavyweight Crowns, Andy “The Destroyer” Ruiz, Jr., 20-0, 14 knockouts who at 257 ½ pounds resembled “Humphrey Pennyworth” of the long gone Joe Palooka cartoons on the also long gone Journal-American Newspaper, “stopped” Tor Hamer, 21-2, 14 k.o.’s, when Hamer a known front-runner “quit” on his ring stool after the 3rd round.
In the semi-final, Evegny Gradovich, 17-0, 8 k.o.’s, I.B.F. Featherweight champ, and known as the “Russian-Mexican” because he is trained by the Garcia Family and is a stable mate of Bam Bam Rios, t.k.o.’d former champ, Billy Dibs at 1 minute & 10 seconds of the 9th round when his corner threw in the towel of defeat as Dibs was absorbing a terrible beating.
Overall, Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions and staff did themselves proud by bringing Macao, China to us via television as we enjoyed an intriguing and classic display of survival by a courageous little giant of the squared circle, Emmanuel Dapridan (Manny) Pacquiao, an 18 year ring veteran, in a fight he had to win.
With the global success over 13, 000 fans at the Cotai Arena, Mr. Arum promised more boxing shows here in Macao, China, in the near future of 2014.
I am certain Manny helped boost the morale of his fellow Philippine countrymen around the world after that devastating and deadly hyan, typhoon that ravaged the Philippines.
This is where “hands around the world”, should unite to help our fellow Philippines, and everyone else around the world who needs our help because we are all God’s Children.