Sports News, Las Vegas – Manny Pacquiao beat Timothy Bradley on points on Saturday night to regain his WBO welterweight title at the MGM Grand.
Following an epic encounter Pacquiao, 35, who had lost to Bradley in a controversial fight in 2012, came out as the clear winner on the scorecards of all three judges.
“I proved tonight that my journey in boxing will continue,” said Pacquiao afterwards.
Bradley, 30, said: “I was determined to knock him out. I got beaten here but the war is not over.”
Judges Craig Metcalfe and Michael Pernick scored the fight 116-112 for Pacquiao, while Glenn Trowbridge scored him as a clear 118-110 winner.
Bradley, unbeaten in his previous 31 fights, had received hate mail and death threats following his disputed points win in their first fight. “I thought I had to do more, that’s why I was going for a knockout,” Bradley said of his desire to end this fight in a decisive manner.
Yet it was his search for the big punch that may have cost him the decision. Bradley’s desire to put Pacquiao down occasionally resulted in ill-discipline, leaving Pacquiao to continue his effective work and rack up the judges’ points.
Although both men exchanged big shots in the opening rounds, Pacquiao started the fight the more controlled and aggressive of the two. It looked as though Bradley was beginning to tire in the rapid early pace.
However, Bradley’s chance came in the 4th round, wobbling Pacquiao twice with stinging right hands, though Pacquiao recovered and never looked troubled again, out-boxing Bradley for the majority of the fight.
Both men were gracious following the Judges’ decision.
“I tried, I really tried. I just lost to the best fighter in the world. Manny fought his heart out and the better man won tonight” said Bradley.
“I was trying to hit him with something over the top when he was throwing.”
“I didn’t want to get careless,” Pacquiao said. “I picked up more steam in the second half when I made adjustments.
“Bradley was much better than in the first fight we had. He hurt me on the chin.”
Asked how much longer he will continue, Pacquiao said: “A couple more years.”
“There’s no problem for me. My job is to fight in the ring – any opponent.”
So it looks as though Pacquiao’s full time political career will be on hold for another year or two. The lure of a 3rd and decisive contest between these two gladiators will likely prove impossible to resist.