After two consecutive losses to Timothy Bradley and Angel Manuel Martinez, Manny Pacquiao rose to dizzying heights in Macau, China to pummel Brandon Rios into submission in a light middleweight showdown on Saturday night. Fiercely determined to exorcise feelings of his traumatic loss to Martinez last year, Pacquiao was a sheer delight to watch with his scintillating footwork and clinical punching skills.
In short, Pacquiao didn’t allow Rios to settle down, and from the opening bell, he unleashed stinging shots to the face and body of Rios that landed with surgical precision and accuracy. Rios was taken from his cozy zone of operation from the beginning of the fight, and as the fight progressed, he unfortunately looked like a punching bag for Pacquiao who hit him at will.
Having set the trend from the first round, Pacquiao followed through in the remaining 11 rounds with a relentless display of high boxing acumen as he found openings in the quasi- protected face of Rios, landing ferociously, even as he befuddled and confused Rios with split-second motility that left the largely pro-Pacquiao crowd greatly impressed and happy.
Before the fight, many boxing pundits had predicted a bloody and exciting showdown between the two pugilists. However, on that night in Macau, only one of the pugilists was exciting to watch, and it was Pacquiao and the blood that oozed, came from the face of Rios. For, Pacquiao looked like he had just come out of a sparring session after the fight, leaving Rios to wonder, what next?
Reinvention of Self
If Pacquiao needed the unanimous verdict victory to relaunch his career after the devastating loss to Martinez in the last of their quadruple battles, the people of the Phillipines needed the win more to boost their sagging morale after the tormenting experience of the cataclysmic tornado, Hyan. On that occasion, Pacquiao like numerous times before, became the mailman who delivered to placate the down-trodden spirit of an entire nation.
Simply put, Pacquiao has resurrected his career after the clinic against Rios, but the question now is, who is next? Floyd Mayweather? Only time will tell. For now though, Pacquiao is relieved and satisfied with his own redemption, so he doesn’t mind waiting patiently for his next opponent.