Manny Pacquiao won by scores of 120-110, 119-111 and 118-112 for a unanimous victory on Sunday. Dale de la Rey / AFP
Manny Pacquiao won by scores of 120-110, 119-111 and 118-112 for a unanimous victory on Sunday. Dale de la Rey / AFP

Pacquiao makes comeback with punishing win over Rios



Manny Pacquiao defeated Brandon Rios by unanimous decision on Sunday, returning to his winning ways after consecutive losses.

Back in the ring for the first time in almost a year, Pacquiao wore Rios down with his trademark combinations and won 120-108, 119-109 and 118-110 on the scorecards at The Venetian casino in Macau.

Pacquiao, who grabbed the WBO international welterweight title with the victory, got the better of the opening two rounds, sending Rios to the canvas in the opening frame, although the referee ruled it as a slip rather than a knockdown.

The American asserted himself in the third, landing some crisp blows that raised hopes of a genuine contest before Pacquiao – spurred on by a capacity crowd at the 13,000-seat Cotai Arena, including many Filipino fans – dominated the remainder of the contest.

Rios was game, continually walking forward to challenge Pacquiao, but was unable to land any significant blows.

After seven rounds, Rios was getting attention to cuts under both eyebrows, and with the scores going against him, needed something special.

Cautioned by the memory of his previous fight when he walked into a savage Juan Manuel Marquez punch that knocked him out, Pacquiao was on guard throughout the closing rounds but a tiring Rios offered little threat.

“Recovering from the knockout and giving a good show was what I wanted to prove to myself and everyone,” Pacquiao said.

Pacquiao will now eye a potential rematch against Marquez.

It was an emotional victory for Pacquiao after a devastating typhoon swept through his Philippine homeland this month, killing 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.”

The fight was broadcast to thousands of survivors of Typhoon Haiyan in the central Philippine city of Tacloban, who jammed a damaged sports stadium and public plazas to watch the telecast of the Filipino boxing icon’s bout on giant screens.

Officials said watching Pacquiao’s fight against American Brandon Rios in Macau on Sunday would help traumatised survivors take their minds off the massive death and devastation wrought by the typhoon and inspire them to pick up the pieces. More than 5,200 people have died since the typhoon hit two weeks ago.

Thousands trooped to the Astrodome stadium, its roof ridden with holes, to watch the fight. One man carried a Philippine flag.

Pacquiao had dedicated his comeback fight to storm victims.

Featherweight Gradovich remains undefeated

The undefeated Russian Evgeny Gradovich stopped Australia’s Billy Dib in the ninth round to retain his IBF world featherweight championship, on the Manny Pacquiao undercard in Macau.

Dib received a standing eight count in the sixth round, thereafter took continual punishment and was staggered in the eighth round by a big left hand.

The fight was stopped 70 seconds into the ninth round when the referee decided the former champion had taken too much punishment to continue.

sports@thenational.ae

Follow us on twitter at @SprtNationalUAE

Company Profile

Company name: Namara
Started: June 2022
Founder: Mohammed Alnamara
Based: Dubai
Sector: Microfinance
Current number of staff: 16
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Family offices

Living in...

This article is part of a guide on where to live in the UAE. Our reporters will profile some of the country’s most desirable districts, provide an estimate of rental prices and introduce you to some of the residents who call each area home.

Vikram Vedha

Directors: Gayatri, Pushkar

Stars: Hrithik Roshan, Saif Ali Khan, Radhika Apte

Rating: 3.5/5

SHAITTAN

Director: Vikas Bahl
Starring: Ajay Devgn, R. Madhavan, Jyothika, Janaki Bodiwala
Rating: 3/5

School counsellors on mental well-being

Schools counsellors in Abu Dhabi have put a number of provisions in place to help support pupils returning to the classroom next week.

Many children will resume in-person lessons for the first time in 10 months and parents previously raised concerns about the long-term effects of distance learning.

Schools leaders and counsellors said extra support will be offered to anyone that needs it. Additionally, heads of years will be on hand to offer advice or coping mechanisms to ease any concerns.

“Anxiety this time round has really spiralled, more so than from the first lockdown at the beginning of the pandemic,” said Priya Mitchell, counsellor at The British School Al Khubairat in Abu Dhabi.

“Some have got used to being at home don’t want to go back, while others are desperate to get back.

“We have seen an increase in depressive symptoms, especially with older pupils, and self-harm is starting younger.

“It is worrying and has taught us how important it is that we prioritise mental well-being.”

Ms Mitchell said she was liaising more with heads of year so they can support and offer advice to pupils if the demand is there.

The school will also carry out mental well-being checks so they can pick up on any behavioural patterns and put interventions in place to help pupils.

At Raha International School, the well-being team has provided parents with assessment surveys to see how they can support students at home to transition back to school.

“They have created a Well-being Resource Bank that parents have access to on information on various domains of mental health for students and families,” a team member said.

“Our pastoral team have been working with students to help ease the transition and reduce anxiety that [pupils] may experience after some have been nearly a year off campus.

"Special secondary tutorial classes have also focused on preparing students for their return; going over new guidelines, expectations and daily schedules.”

Anxiety and work stress major factors

Anxiety, work stress and social isolation are all factors in the recogised rise in mental health problems.

A study UAE Ministry of Health researchers published in the summer also cited struggles with weight and illnesses as major contributors.

Its authors analysed a dozen separate UAE studies between 2007 and 2017. Prevalence was often higher in university students, women and in people on low incomes.

One showed 28 per cent of female students at a Dubai university reported symptoms linked to depression. Another in Al Ain found 22.2 per cent of students had depressive symptoms - five times the global average.

It said the country has made strides to address mental health problems but said: “Our review highlights the overall prevalence of depressive symptoms and depression, which may long have been overlooked."

Prof Samir Al Adawi, of the department of behavioural medicine at Sultan Qaboos University in Oman, who was not involved in the study but is a recognised expert in the Gulf, said how mental health is discussed varies significantly between cultures and nationalities.

“The problem we have in the Gulf is the cross-cultural differences and how people articulate emotional distress," said Prof Al Adawi. 

“Someone will say that I have physical complaints rather than emotional complaints. This is the major problem with any discussion around depression."

Daniel Bardsley

MATCH INFO

Azerbaijan 0

Wales 2 (Moore 10', Wilson 34')

The specs

Engine: 6-cylinder, 4.8-litre
Transmission: 5-speed automatic and manual
Power: 280 brake horsepower
Torque: 451Nm
Price: from Dh153,00
On sale: now

The Specs

Engine: 1.6-litre 4-cylinder petrol
Power: 118hp
Torque: 149Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Price: From Dh61,500
On sale: Now

Wonka

Director: Paul King

Starring: Timothee Chalamet, Olivia Colman, Hugh Grant

Rating: 2/5

Kathryn Hawkes of House of Hawkes on being a good guest (because we’ve all had bad ones)

  • Arrive with a thank you gift, or make sure you have one for your host by the time you leave. 
  • Offer to buy groceries, cook them a meal or take your hosts out for dinner.
  • Help out around the house.
  • Entertain yourself so that your hosts don’t feel that they constantly need to.
  • Leave no trace of your stay – if you’ve borrowed a book, return it to where you found it.
  • Offer to strip the bed before you go.

Latest
Most Read
Top Videos