Despite loss, Rios still a 'compelling' fighter


Posted at Nov 26 2013 04:24 PM | Updated as of Nov 27 2013 12:24 AM

MANILA, Philippines – Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios may have disappointed in his performance against Manny Pacquiao last weekend, but he remains a compelling boxer who can still figure in high-profile fights.

In his column “Weekend Review,” RingTV’s Michael Rosenthal named Rios the “biggest loser” following his poor performance against Pacquiao in their welterweight showdown in Macau.

The former lightweight champion was utterly unable to deal with Pacquiao’s speed, and spent most of the fight trying – and failing – to catch the Filipino who moved in and out of his range for the length of the fight. Pacquiao won via unanimous decision, as Rios won only three rounds in the scorecards of the judges.

But Rosenthal noted that “one shouldn’t be too critical of Rios,” considering that the boxer clearly did his best before and during the fight against Pacquiao.

“He was obviously fit, evidence that he worked hard in his training camp. And he tried to do his thing – pressure his talented foe and rough him up in close quarters,” he wrote. “Pacquiao was just too fast and too good for him.”

Even though Rios was clearly frustrated by the end of the fight, Rosenthal said the boxer should still “take heart.”

“He earned a payday that can set him up for life,” he said. “And losing to a fighter of Pacquiao’s caliber – even by a lot – won’t destroy anyone’s career.”

“Rios remains a compelling contender and has many more high-profile fights in his future,” he added.

Rios, who slumped to his second consecutive defeat, was mostly gracious at the post-fight press conference and vowed to bounce back.

“Good job, everyone in the Pacquiao camp. Congratulations. But we’ll come back better and stronger,” he said.

“I can say one thing – I never got hurt in the fight. He never stunned me. He just took me off-guard,” he added.