Manny Pacquiao returned to action against Brandon Rios in a bout dubbed as "The Clash in Cotai." Pacquiao entered the bout on a two fight losing streak and with many people doubting that he'd return to the form that made him a force in boxing's Welterweight division.
Last night (Nov. 23, 2013) on HBO pay-per-view (PPV), at Cotai Arena in Macau, Chinas, "Pac Man" proved that he's not only a force in boxing, but at 34 years old, he's still got the legs to use movement and footwork to outwork his opponents.
It was a great night for Pacquiao, though a bit of a boring affair for the fans who tuned in to watch. Rios didn't have an answer for Pacquiao's work rate or speed and was out of the fight almost from the word "go."
So without any further ado, let's talk about last night ...
YOU'VE STILL GOT IT! :CLAP::CLAP::CLAPCLAPCLAP:
Heading into the bout with Rios, there was some concern that Pacquiao got "old." The reasoning was he enter the bout on a two-fight losing streak and didn't look particularly inspiring in those efforts. He seemed to have lost a step or two, and his ability take a punch appeared to have faded.
Those concerns were obviously out of place after seeing Pacquiao's brilliant performance against Rios (video highlights here). He was always several steps ahead of his opponent and utilized footwork to avoid taking unnecessary damage. The game plan worked as Rios was frustrated midway through the fourth.
By the time the scores were announced, it was clear that Manny Pacquiao is still a threat at welterweight. He still has the ability to throw combinations and can keep a high volumed pace throughout the entire fight. Amazing job at proving that he's still got "it."
WTF is the WBO International Welterweight title?
The bout between Pacquiao and Rios was contested for the World Boxing Organization's (WBO) International Welterweight Title. If you've never heard of the title, that's okay. No one has. It's actually a completely made up belt created just for the fight with Rios.
See, the WBO is one of the main sanctioning bodies in boxing and they receive a percentage of the total combined purse for title bouts. So with Pacquiao taking home a cool $18m guaranteed and Rios snagging $4m for his efforts, the WBO will take $660k for making the bout for a fake title.
And this isn't the first time that they've done it either. When Pacquiao faced Juan Manuel Marquez in December of last year, they were fighting for the WBO 'Champion of the Decade' belt. They aren't even trying at this point, are they?
Shiming? More like 'winning!'
Zou Shiming is a bit of a folk hero in China. He's a two-time Olympic gold medalist and one of the top fighters coming out of Asia right now. Asia is quickly becoming a new locale for fights and that will lead to way more talented fighters who hope to impress their countrymen.
At 3-0 and 32 years old, Shiming may not be able to put together the impressive professional resume of a Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao. But he probably won't have to wait long before he's challenging for one of boxing's top titles.
A fighter like Shiming doesn't come around often. Make sure you get a chance to appreciate his abilities while you can because one day you won't be able to.
- The drama before the Pacquiao-Rios fight was more interesting than the fight itself. Rios didn't really have a clear path to victory besides landing a perfectly placed punch to the Filipino's jaw. Unless you're gonna show up on fight night, it's probably for the best if your corner doesn't talk a bunch of trash in the weeks leading up.
- Tor Hamer was fired on fight night via Twitter and it's absolutely hilarious. That's Vince McMahon/WWE levels of hilarious and it's worth laughing about. Also it probably really sucks to get fired via social media. Sorry, Tor.
- Speaking of hilarious, it's super funny that Floyd Mayweather was at the Glory 12 fights last night in New York City and wasn't watching the "Pacquiao vs. Rios" card. That's just cold and I wouldn't have it any other way.
- More on Mayweather. Though Pacquiao was victorious over Rios, there's no doubt in my mind that Mayweather clobbers him if they ever meet in the ring. Both are supremely talented, but only Mayweather goes out every fight and looks unstoppable. Pacquiao's game plays directly into Mayweather's and it would be a long night for the Filipino congressman.
- Though the fight didn't take place on this card, I would be remiss if I didn't at least talk a little bit about that controversial stoppage for Froch vs. Grove. Actually, that's all I need to say. It was a controversial BS stoppage and everyone involved should feel bad about it. Mixed martial arts (MMA) fans love talking about how boxing is corrupt and the Froch/Grove stoppage is why they aren't entirely wrong.