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Manny Pacquiao, vintage if not virtuoso, must land Floyd Mayweather Jr. next

Michael Marley, longtime Pacquiao chronicler, says this was, as he predicted, one-sided shutout over well-chosen foe who made Manny shine like high gloss
Michael Marley, longtime Pacquiao chronicler, says this was, as he predicted, one-sided shutout over well-chosen foe who made Manny shine like high gloss
Nicky Loh (Getty Images)

Virtuoso was my first chosen adjective to describe Manny Pacquiao's dominant, 12 round shutout over overmatched Brandon Bam Bam Rios Saturday night (actually Sunday brunch in Macao).
I had the first letter correct, just like my prefight prediction (Pacman by UD 12 and Rios' finishing with a face that looked like it had been run through a high speed blender) was on the Manny, I mean on the money. (If you did not bet the "over," shame on you.)
I love to say I told you so so I will.
But back to the "V word." The proper descriptive word is Vintage as in Vintage Pacquiao because that's what we saw through 36 mostly fast-paced minutes.
We saw the Old Manny or should I say the Young Mannu. Rarely has a 34 year old coming off a devastating one punch KO loss bounced back so nicely.
The spirit, the vim and the vigor were all there for Pacman against his carefully chosen opponent. I know that Class A is supposed to shine against a Grade B foe but Pacquiao was high gloss shine throughout.
You could tell that Pacquiao was having fun displaying the skills that made him into an icon in the first place.
So, what's next?
All roads seem to lead to a Chapter 5 against his KO conqueror and that's easy but big business for promoter Bob Arum.
I say, hey, Manny don't take that fork in the road.
Take the Road Less Traveled, have the minions work silently, do what they have to do, to make the Floyd Mayweather Jr. Super Bout.
That;'s a history fight. That's a heritage fight. That's the Ali-Frazier fight for you smaller guys. That remains the Lollapalooza which will break all financial record and give boxing a deep and needed stimulus.
Rios, always game, gets his biggest payday and his Red Badge of Courage.
But, for Manny, the name he needs to get on the lines which are dotted, is Mayweather.
It remains what matters most for both superstars.
(mlcmarley@aol.com)

Rios was shutout from start to finish in Clash In Cotai as Pacquiao dominated completely
Nicky Loh (Getty Images)