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Manny Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KOs) couldn’t back up his trainer Freddie Roach’s promise to knock out Timothy Bradley (31-1, 12 KOs) in their rematch at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday night, but he did deliver an impressive boxing performance to win a clear unanimous decision on the judges’ scorecards and regain the WBO welterweight title.
The fight unfolded much like the original. Pacquiao was throwing a barrage of punches at Bradley, who stated that his game plan was to throw an overhand right over the top that Pacquiao would not see coming. Try as he might, Bradley could not land that game changer punch over the course of the fight. The early rounds were close, with both men a little tentative and feeling each other out. Bradley showed he could move Pacquiao once, when a straight right hand in the fourth round lifted the 35-year-old clear off his two feet, but landing shots like that one proved elusive for the American for the rest of the night.
As the fight wore on, so did Pacquiao’s dominance, Bradley was was so focused on hitting a home run every time that he seemed content to absorb multiple Pacquiao combinations to get in a position to do so. But that shot never came, and once the final bell rang, the judges came back scores of 116-112, 116-112, 118-110, all in favor of Pacquiao. Unlike their first fight in June 2012, which Pacquiao lost by split decision, there was no controversy over the call from the judges. In the aftermath, Bradley told press that he had no excuses and lost to the better man on the night, but that a torn right calf sustained in the first round hampered his movement over the course of the fight.
So, what’s next for Pacquiao? In post-fight interviews, Pacman said that he was happy to leave all that to his promoter, Bob Arum. The new champion’s mandatory challenger is the winner of the upcoming fight between Mike Alvarado and Juan Manuel Marquez on May 17. If Marquez wins, it could set up the possibility of a fifth fight between himself and Pacquiao. Floyd Mayweather’s name was mentioned once again, but Mayweather works with Golden Boy and Showtime and Pacquaio works with Top Rank and HBO. There is no love lost between any of the aforementioned parties, and it would appear that the same reasons this fight didn’t happen three or four years ago still exist today.
Check out some of the post-fight reaction:
Also, ever wonder what songs Manny Pacquiao listens to in training camp? Well, wonder no more!