Entering the ring for the first time since being knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez last year, Pacquiao displayed impressive combinations that have been a hallmark of his career, wearing down his over matched foe. The judges, this time, would not bring about controversy, as they scored the fight 120-108, 119-109, and 118-110 all in favor of Manny Pacquiao.
The victory proved to be an emotional one, as Pacquiao not only has had to deal with his own tribulations in the ring, but also the devastation his country has endured at the hands of the typhoon that killed thousands.
"This is not about my comeback," Pacquiao said in the ring. "My victory is a symbol of my people's comeback from a natural disaster and a natural tragedy."
From the opening bell, there was little doubt as to who was in charge. In the first round, Rios would taste the canvas, but it was ruled a slip rather than a knockdown. However, that made little difference.
The one fleeting moment of hope for Rios and his fans seemed to come in the third, where Rios found some success in landing a few nice shots. However, the crowd helped Manny through any adversity, and he would go on to dominate the rest of the bout.
Though he was clearly outclassed, Rios certainly was not going to lay down for his opponent. He continually came forward in an attempt to challenge Pacquiao, and would smile when he was the victim of damaging shots that had to hurt.
In the later rounds, Rios had cuts under both eyes, and was in search of something that would turn the tide in his favor. However, perhaps mindful of his knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez, Pacquiao was not in the mood to oblige Brandon Rios. And as Rios began to tire, it was clear there would be no miracle ending.
"Recovering from the knockout and giving a good show was what I wanted to prove to myself and everyone," Pacquiao said.
The most glaring disparity between the fighters had to be in the speed department. Rios clearly had no answer for the blinding speed of Pacquiao.
"What got me was just the speed and his awkwardness," Rios said.
"He never hurt me at all, and I never got stunned at all, but the quickness just caught me off guard."
Freddie Roach, the long time trainer for Pacquiao, was pleased with the performance of his fighter despite his inability to close the show with a knockout.
"Manny looked great tonight," Roach said. "There was no signs of him slowing down whatsoever.
"Manny let him off the hook, I wanted the knockout and it was there, but I was very happy with the way he performed."
Top Rank boss Bob Arum said that it is likely Manny Pacquiao will return to action next April, most likely back in the United States. Speculation on his next opponent will run wild, with Timothy Bradley being a logical choice. However, with this impressive performance behind him, there is another fighter Arum and fans around the world will no doubt begin wondering about.
"I know it's a fight that should happen and where there is a will there is a way," Arum said, acknowledging the difficulty of the fighters being represented by different promotions. "If all sides cut out the crap, it can be done."
As for Brandon Rios, he has now lost consecutive fights after beginning his career with a lengthy undefeated run. In his last three fights he has come up two weight classes. However, despite not having much success in doing so, he plans to remain at welterweight, or perhaps even moving up to supre welterweight.