CHICAGO (JGL) – Philippine boxing icon Manny Pacquiao snatched back the WBO welterweight championship belt with a unanimous decision from Timothy Bradley, Jr. in a much awaited rematch at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas April 12. Before a reported boxing fans of about 15,000 and over a million of television viewers around the globe, Pacquiao handled the younger and more athletic American champion by being more aggressive and measured, using a seldom seen rapid-fire combination that stopped Bradley’s taunting.
The Filipino world champion and Congressman who started flat in the first round did not give any reason for the judges to give Bradley the call when he roared back stronger on the second and third rounds and landed more accurate and solid punches. But Bradley stood his ground to avoid a knockout. Although he did not use it as an excuse for his loss, he said he pulled a calf muscle in the first round.
Bradley recovered momentarily on the fourth and fifth rounds and returned the favor to Pacquiao with his repeated crisp head shots at Manny.
Towards near the end of sixth and up to the 10th round, it was all Manny as he peppered Bradley with lefts and rights jabs that Bradley gamely absorbed.
Manny, 35, put Bradley, 31, on the ropes on the seventh round but failed to knock Bradley down. He followed it up on the eighth, ninth and 10th rounds but Bradley withstood Manny’s roundhouse punches.
Although Manny doubled up his scoring punches on Bradley, the American champion mightily stood his ground although complaining of having problem with his foot. Bradley tried to go for the knockout but Manny did not repeat his mistake in his bout with Juan Manuel Marquez when he dropped his guard.
Marquez stunned Pacquiao in 2012 with a sixth-round knockout. But Manny started with his comeback with his brutal beating of Brandon Rios in Macau late last year.
The three judges, Michael Pernick of Florida, Glenn Trowbridge of Nevada, and Craig Metcalfe of Canada, scored it 116-112, 116-112 and 118-110 all for Pacquiao. The scoring was a far cry from the controversial split decision of Bradley over Pacquiao in 2012 although Pacquiao piled up and landed more punches than Bradley. In that bout, Judges Duane Ford and C. J. Ross scored the fight 115–113 in favor of Bradley, while Jerry Roth scored the fight 115–113 in favor of Pacquiao. The decision was universally protested and was even disputed by the World Boxing Council, which nominally awarded the victory to Pacquiao.
STAINS BRADLEY’S SPOTLESS RECORD
Pacquiao’s victory redeemed and re-installed himself as among the elite fighters and blemished the unbeaten record of Bradley, who now holds a record of 31-1. Pacquiao now runs his record at 56-5-2. Pacquiao earns $20-M while Bradley will make $6-M, his biggest in his career, aside from the pay-per-view earnings.
Many Filipino Americans and friends in Chicago, who witnessed on pay-per-view cable, were so excited to watch the action-packed fight that could likely postpone Pacquiao’s decision to hang up his globes.
Chicago’s Administrative Law Judge Phil Bernstein said Pacquiao showed that he was hungry to have his welterweight championship belt back as Manny was “more aggressive than Bradley thru most of the 12 rounds. Manny is now better than ever.”
For his part, Filipino American Marlon L. Pecson said, “Manny’s next fight should be this November or next year with (American Floyd) Mayweather. But Mayweather needs to win in his next fight next month if he wants to face Manny.”
Another boxing fan, Carlito Hernandez, also of Chicago, said, “The fight tonight was a good fight and a nice fight. It’s a redemption for Pacquiao. We have to see the third fight between Pacquiao and Bradley because there was no knockdown. Regarding the Mayweather, only after a knockdown in the Pacquiao-Bradley III.
“As to Juan Manuel Marquez fighting Manny, it is history. But we will see after Mayweather’s fight next month. There maybe a Marquez-Pacquiao although Marquez will be gunning after Bradley, who beat Marquez earlier. Everything can happen.” )
SOLID PUNCH: Filipino world champion and Congressman Manny Pacquiao deals Timothy Bradley, Jr. a stinging right straight to the face in this bit of action last Saturday, April 12. Pacquiao dominated Bradley for the second time but this time getting the unanimous nod of the judges. His victory paves the way for his successful comeback. (Photo courtesy of Chris Farina of Top Rank)
CHEERING FOR MANNY: These Chicago Filipino Americans could not help their excitement as they cheered after their idol, Filipino world champion and Congressman Manny Pacquiao handily beat Timothy Bradley, Jr. (JGLPhoto by Joseph G. Lariosa)