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List of Articles by Sid Bañez

Spraying Gunfire: Pacquiao Didn’t Just Pull the Trigger

By Sid Bañez
25 Nov 2013

Manny Pacquiao not only pulled the trigger but sprayed gunfire in awesome frequency on the tough but largely bewildered Brandon Rios.

Rios, with his reputation for profanity-laced language and for being a come-forward, in-your-face brawler was more of a tamed lion against a fighter he and his team believed was inexorably declining and had weaknesses they could exploit. Instead he was pummeled by a Manny Pacquiao so vastly different from what he was in his last two fights on which many, including many of Pacquiao’s supporters, based their assessment of what the former pound-for-pound king was still capable of.

There were no knockdowns officially but what was ruled by the referee as a slip in the first round, looked like Rios was on the seat of his pants after a left hook hit his temple. Of course, that is academic now as the result was a brilliant near-shutout no one, especially Rios and his trainer Robert Garcia, thought would be possible.

Rios came forward every now and then only to find out he was chasing a hologram who was there in front of him but couldn’t be touched, and when he tried to touch it the hologram would be beside him, or behind him raining shots from angles the Mexican-American was calculating all night but could not understand. From time to time, in very brief spurts, Rios was unable to make it a toe-to-toe brawl, sneaking in dubious shots, the kind the referee could not and should not see.

Rios is tough, maybe too tough for his own good. Childishly taunting Pacquiao a few times by sticking out his tongue to camouflage the pain of the Pacman’s combinations, one wonders when a piece of his tongue would fly across the ring with his mouthpiece. Happily, that didn’t happen.

Rios claimed Pacquiao never hurt or stunned him; he said he was just overwhelmed by his speed and awkwardness. But he admitted not pressing for a knockout even when he knew he was well behind on points because “I wasn’t trying for the knockout, cause I’d probably get knocked out myself.” Such a contradiction from a hard nosed fighter who would surely be back to make a better account of himself. In Macau, however, it was evident Rios did not have the skill level and the cunning to be in the league of Pacquiao even in this late stage of the latter’s career.

It was an entertaining fight, but thanks mostly to Manny Pacquiao.

Back to Sid Bañez's Articles Listing

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