Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao won over Timothy Bradley, reclaiming the World Boxing Organization Welterweight title via unanimous decision.
After 12 grueling rounds, the three judges’ score cards all favored the Filipino southpaw over the orthodox (right-handed) Bradley with 116-112, 116-112, 118-110, after the boxing match in the packed MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas Sunday, April13 (April 12 in the U.S.)
Pacquiao lost the welterweight title belt to Bradley in 2012. But this time around, he proved he was the rightful WBO welterweight champion.
Bradley mostly tried to evade Pacquiao’s punches and lunges with swaying body movements. He even tried to taunt Pacquiao with cocky postures. But the Pacman was able to connect with a flurry of punches especially in the middle to the final rounds, as he pinned Bradley with his combinations.
After round 7, Bradley showed signs of fatigue, slipping at least twice in the ring. Pacquiao then unleased a flurry of punches. In the later rounds, Bradley, the Desert Storm, lost his cockiness and showed more signs of weariness.
He mostly lost his balance and threw wild punches, many of them hitting just air.
In the final round, Pacquiao showed the same intensity as in the previous rounds. But a headbutt from Bradley caused a cut in Pacquiao’s brow, and referee Kenny Bayless had to stop the fight for a while.
After that, Pacquiao continued his onslaught on Bradley until the final ring signifying the end of round 12.
Mommy Dionisia, Pacquiao’s mother, wearing a cream Filipiniana terno, stepped inside the ring as soon as the final round was finished when all awaited the announcement of who the winner would be in the fight.
As Pacquiao knelt down at ringside corner to pray, Mommy Dionisia stood beside him. When Pacquiao was announced as the winner and the WBO welterweight champion via unanimous decision, mother and son celebrated the win together inside the ring.
Mommy Dionisia even went as far as giving Bradley a motherly hug. Bradley later walked to Pacquiao’s side to congratulate him.
“He’s a better fighter than I am,” Bradley said in an interview after the fight.
This was his first ever loss in boxing. He now has a record of 31 wins and one loss, after his second fight with Pacquiao.
He said Pacquiao had “great footwork.”
Asked what he would do after his first ever loss in boxing, Bradley said, “I lost one fight. I just got to go back to the gym.”
Bradley first fought Manny Pacquiao on June 9, 2012. He won a controversial win over Pacquiao, who then held the WBO welterweight title, by way of a split decision with two of the judges scoring it 115-113 to Bradley and the other 115-113 to Pacquiao.
This ended Pacquiao’s seven-year undefeated winning streak and gave Bradley the title.
But according to Compubox, Pacquiao was ahead in punches landed and power punches landed, as well as in percentage of punches landed and percentage of power punches landed.
Because of the controversial scoring in that 2012 fight, World Boxing WBO President Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel created a five-judge panel to review the fight. All five judges scored the fight in favor of Pacquiao after reviewing a video of the bout.
But the WBO rules do not allow the decision to be overturned, and the most that the body could do was to order a rematch.
The much-awaited rematch happened on April 13 (April 12 in Las Vegas) where Pacquiao proved he was the rightful WBO welterweight title holder with a comfortable win margin via unanimous decision, and a recognition from Bradley himself that Pacquiao was the “better fighter.”
Before this, no less than former US President Bill Clinton expressed admiration for Pacquiao, saying he was a great role model for the Philippines. (Eagle News Service)