Manny Pacquiao performed pretty much as expected against Brandon Rios, dominating the entire fight and giving his heartbroken and cataclysm-ravaged countrymen a hero to exalt. I did expect Rios to threaten the inevitability of Pacquiao’s win a little bit more during the course of the fight, but the final result was exactly as I predicted. Rios did stand up to Pacquiao’s firepower better than many challengers, and he even offered more range of technique than most. Pacquiao may have had a comparably easy night, when juxtaposed with fights like the one with Cotto, or Tim Bradley, but he struggled to mount an overwhelming offensive attack the way he was able to do against other opponents. Rios enjoyed the privilege of mounting his own offense from time to time for about six or seven full rounds. The late rounds surprised me in the degree to which Rios conceded the loss, but he was still impressive in his stamina and durability.
Two significant bouts in the light heavyweight division this past weekend saw great victories for Sergey Kovalev and Adonis Stevenson. Both have marquee-name power and more technical prowess than many of the athletes who comprised the division in recent years. The card was set to draw attention to a looming showdown between the two fighters who seem to be reaching their peak performance levels, and based on their success, I would say it has done so.