Rios: Pacquiao did not hurt me one bit

Natashya Gutierrez
Brandon Rios denies he was at all hurt by Manny Pacquiao despite receiving a beating from the Filipino in his unanimous decision defeat

POWER PUNCH. Manny Pacquiao delivers a left hook straight to the face of a bleeding Brandon Rios. Photo by Team Pacquiao / Mike Young

MACAU – Despite the beating he received in the hands of Manny Pacquiao, Mexican-American fighter Brandon Rios said the 8-division world champion, who won the fight via unanimous decision, did not hurt him.

In a press conference after the fight on Sunday, November 24, Rios said it was the speed of Pacquiao that ultimately spelled his defeat.

“I never got hurt at that fight. He never hurt me at all. I never got stunned. Nothing. I think the quickness just threw me off guard. I had a sparring partner who was very fast but I think he was faster than my sparring partner,” Rios said.

Pacquiao was dominant throughout the fight, with one judge giving the Filipino all 12 rounds. Another judge gave Rios one round, while the third judge gave Rios two rounds.

Compubox also shows Pacquiao’s dominance. It said Pacquiao landed 281 total punches, 241 of which were to the head. Rios finished the fight with a bloody face and cuts on his brow bones.

Rios admitted he was hit “a couple times with his straight left” but insisted, “I feel great. I’m not hurt, I’m not stunned, nothing like that. I feel good. I can still go another 5 rounds if we had to.”

Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach disagreed, saying he thought Pacquiao could have finished Rios off in the 12th round, but did give him credit for his toughness.

“He took the beating like a man,” he said.

‘Speed and awkwardness’

Rios repeatedly praised Pacquiao’s speed and admitted the angles with which Pacquiao moved and hit from made the fight difficult for him.

“Like I said he never hurt me one bit, he just threw me off guard with the quickness and awkwardness,” he said.

“It was a great fight you know, I tried my hardest, I put my heart and soul into this fight. I bust my butt off in the gym. It’s just that Manny Pacquiao was quick. He was quicker than I expected. I did train for quickness but the best Pacquiao showed up tonight.”

At a loss for words, Rios simply said, “Motherf***er is fast!”

The young fighter also expressed some frustration in being unable to catch Pacquiao. Before the fight, Rios’ trainer Robert Garcia said his team’s strategy would be to try to catch Pacquiao on the ropes and force him to trade punches.

Pacquiao however did not give him the opportunity.

“After a while I was like f*** man. Every time we get close, he didn’t want to exchange with me so he grabbed me. He’s a smart guy. When he was out, he was gone,” he said.

Clear loss

Rios said his corner knew he was behind in the scorecards but admitted Pacquiao was just too fast, making it difficult to execute his game plan.

“They were telling me in the 9th or 10th round, we need these rounds because you know, you gotta knock him out, you gotta do something. I tried, I tried my heart out,” he said.

He added, “I wasn’t trying for the knockout because I probably would get knocked out myself. I was just trying to fight whenever I can get close, whenever I get him. Like I said, it was just the awkwardness and the speed that was a factor in this fight.”

Meanwhile Garcia said he was impressed by Pacquiao’s performance. Before the fight, Garcia said he did not think Pacquiao was the same fighter he used to be but admitted the 8-division world champion looked stellar during the fight.

“Pacquiao fought great. He came in with a great game plan and I think taking the whole year off that he did helped him a lot, I think he recovered well and I’m sure he trained like never before also because he had a lot to prove and a lot to show and he did,” he said.

“I’m sure everyone had that question: What Pacquiao are we gonna see? And I think we saw the best Pacquiao.”

Rios too conceded “Pacquiao still has it,” and gave assurances his confidence was unshaken by the loss.

“We’ll be back. We’ll bounce back too, and well come back harder and stronger,” he vowed. –

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.