Welterweight

Manny Pacquiao Fight: Grading Pac-Man's Performance Against Brandon Rios

MACAU - NOVEMBER 24:  Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines fights with Brandon Rios of the U.S. during their 'Clash in Cotai' WBO International Welterweight title bout on November 24, 2013 in Macau.  (Photo by Nicky Loh/Getty Images)
Nicky Loh/Getty Images
Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIINovember 24, 2013

As dominant as Manny Pacquiao was over Brandon Rios on Saturday night, and because he's set such high standards for himself, it is hard to give him an A+ for the performance. What could he have done better? What would have been a more impressive result? Let's break down the positives, negatives and everything in between from Saturday night's fight.

 

Speed - A

MACAU - NOVEMBER 24:  Manny Pacquiao (R) of the Philippines punches Brandon Rios of the U.S. during their 'Clash in Cotai' WBO International Welterweight title fight on November 24, 2013 in Macau.  (Photo by Nicky Loh/Getty Images)
Nicky Loh/Getty Images

Without a doubt, Pacquiao's hand and foot speed are still at an elite level. Few fighters in the history of the sport can throw punches in bunches like Manny. He fired with near pinpoint accuracy and wasted very little energy in the ring against Rios.

In many ways, the fight looked like a workout and not a real competition.

 

Defense - B+

MACAU - NOVEMBER 24:  Manny Pacquiao (R) of the Philippines fights with Brandon Rios of the U.S. during their 'Clash in Cotai' WBO International Welterweight title bout on November 24, 2013 in Macau.  (Photo by Nicky Loh/Getty Images)
Nicky Loh/Getty Images

Pacquiao demonstrated as much head movement in this fight as I've ever seen from him. He employed a wealth of lateral movement and didn't stay in striking distance long enough for Rios to offer much of a threat.

There were times during exchanges where a quicker opponent may have had an opportunity to counter, but because Rios is so slow, Pacquiao was always in the clear.

 

Poise - A

Staying committed to the game plan was smart on Pacquiao's part. Never once did he become overly aggressive or obsessed with finishing Rios. Instead, he systematically pounded him from head to gut for 12 rounds.

Pacquiao seemed content to allow the fight to end in decision after a dominating performance.

 

Power - C+

MACAU - NOVEMBER 24:  Manny Pacquiao (R) of the Philippines punches Brandon Rios of the U.S. during their 'Clash in Cotai' WBO International Welterweight title fight on November 24, 2013 in Macau.  (Photo by Nicky Loh/Getty Images)
Nicky Loh/Getty Images

This may seem harsh because Pacquiao did catch Rios with some hard shots and because Bam Bam clearly has a great chin; but Pac-Man hasn't scored a stoppage win in four-plus years now. That is a far cry from the fighter who was once one of the most feared punchers in the sport.

There is a give-and-take when attempting to fight smarter and there is something to be said for the effects of age. For whatever reason, Pacquiao has seemingly lost his ability to finish opponents.

 

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