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    Manny takes pity on Rios
    By Joaquin Henson Updated Monday November 25, 2013 - 12:00am

    Manny Pacquiao lands a right to Brandon Rios of the United States during their WBO international welterweight title fight in Macau. AP


    M ACAU - Freddie Roach said yesterday Manny Pacquiao could've taken Brandon Rios out in the last two rounds but let him off the hook because he took pity on the brawler nicknamed "BamBam" in their bout for the vacant WBO International welterweight crown at the sold-out Cotai Arena inside the Venetian Resort Hotel here.

     "Manny looked great out there," beamed Roach. "He did exactly what he wanted to do. He didn't rush things. Of course, I would've liked a knockout and that's why on a scale of 1 to 10, I rate his performance 9.9. A knockout would've made it a 10. But that's fine. Rios didn't show anything we didn't expect."

    Pacquiao's boyhood pal Buboy Fernandez, who worked the ring icon's corner with Roach, said he, too, would've enjoyed seeing Rios flat on his back. But there was no point in finishing off Rios because Pacquiao proved who was the superior fighter. It had nothing to do with Pacquiao being cautious to avoid walking into a punch like he did in the Juan Manuel Marquez fight last December, he added.

    Pacquiao said the loss to Marquez is now a thing of the past. "I don't think of it because if I do, it might change what I do in the ring," he said. "Rios is a tough fighter. This wasn't an easy fight. He hit me hard. I didn't want to take unnecessary chances. I was in control of the fight and kept it that way until the end."

    Gov. Luis (Chavit) Singson said Pacquiao may be losing his killer's instinct. "Rios was beaten up and I think Manny didn't want to hurt him any more," he said. "It probably has something to do with his Christian beliefs. But that doesn't mean it won't come back. If ever he fights (Floyd) Mayweather, that's a different story. I think he'll need that killer's instinct to beat him."

    Pacquiao was all smiles when he entered his dressing room after the fight, cheered by relatives, friends and well-wishers. He gave wife Jinkee, four months pregnant, a huge hug and a kiss. Mommy Dionisia was in the room, too. "I was rushed to the hospital when I watched his fight in Dallas," she said. "I stayed away for a while. I was sad when Manny lost his last two fights and I wasn't with him. So I decided to come back. I'm very happy for him and our people. It's a victory for our country." Jessica Sanchez, the American Idol star who sang both the Philippine and US national anthems before the bout, was also around to greet Pacquiao.

    Pacquiao said he worked long and hard to get in shape for the fight, knowing how important it was to bounce back from the defeats to Timothy Bradley and Marquez. He boxed Rios silly and dazzled him with his blinding speed. It was a masterful demonstration of skill and smarts. Pacquiao dominated Rios and made him look like a novice.

    The scorecards weren't close. Michael Pernick of Miami saw it for Pacquiao in a shutout, 120-108. Lisa Giampa of Las Vegas gave Rios the eighth round and the rest to Pacquiao, scoring it 119-109. Manfred Kuechler of Germany awarded the third and eighth rounds to Rios and scored it 118-110 for Pacquiao. The Star saw it like Kuechler.

    Pacquiao said he dedicated the win to the typhoon victims in Leyte, Samar, Palawan and Cebu. He promised to visit the victims, particularly in Tacloban, and said he would arrange a schedule as soon as he returns home.


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