He won a unanimous 12 round decision against Brandon Rios before a largely Pacquiao crowd in Macao.
Most had predicted that Pacquiao would win this fight, but there was also a pretty persistent whisper that at almost 35-years of age, Pacquiao’s career was over.
His trainer Freddie Roach first predicted his boxer would win in six rounds, then later predicted a win in four.
Pacquiao only said he would punish Rios.
Punish him he did. Rios began bleeding from the left eye half way through the fight. By the end of the fight, his right eye was bruised and puffy.
Pacquiao was able to withstand Rios body shots and seemed irritated by what he perceived as low blows from Rios. At one point, Pacquiao complained to the judge in the middle of the round, but the judge ignored him.
The knockout many had predicted never happened as Rios proved to be a stubborn and tough fighter.
” I feel, that’s what I try to do to give a good fight,” said Pacquiao I try to finish the fight but my opponent’s very tough, so give credit to him.
“He’s a top fighter, very strong fighter. Not an easy opponent.”
Pacquiao scored with one left jab after another, occasionally throwing in a good combination. At one point HBO put up a statistic that showed he had landed 100 more punches than Rios.
Pacquiao did not say what his future plans were, telling HBO that would be up to his promoter. Boxing promoter Bob Arum has said he thinks a fight with undefeated Floyd Mayweather could happen in 2014.
That’s a dream that just doesn’t want to die. Pacquiao says he’s open to the idea, but we’ve heard it all before.
Mayweather hasn’t shown the same enthusiasm for such a fight, but expect more talk about such a fight in the future.
You can watch a replay of the fight here in this HBO PPV posted here.