Pacquiao beats Bradley via unanimous decision in ‘last fight’
LAS VEGAS–Manny Pacquiao hammered out a unanimous decision over Timothy Bradley Jr. Saturday night (Sunday, Manila time) at the MGM Grand here then acknowledged an emotional farewell from a crowd that was bent on sending its hero into the sunset with a roar of appreciation.
READ: Pacquiao: One last time
All three judges scored it 116-110 for Pacquiao, who scored two knockdowns en route to the decision.
“Every round, I was looking for a knockout but Bradley was too tough,” Pacquiao said after the match.
Pacquiao’s lefts landed in such a frequency that didn’t allow Bradley to do much except for the start and end of the match.
With a minute to go before the end of the 12th, the crowd at the Garden Arena suddenly gave a standing ovation despite a seeming lull in the action, as if to bid farewell to a hero.
“Thank you to all the fans of boxing. I really appreciate all your love and support to this industry,” Pacquiao said when asked for a final message to the fans, who roared back in approval.
Bradley started out strong in the first two-and-a-half rounds, even leading the scorecards of the judges after three. But Pacquiao bounced back starting in the fourth round, slowly finding his range with his killer left.
He finally decked Bradley in the seventh, but it looked more like the American slipped after taking a combination.
Bradley tried to undo the damage in the eighth, springing combinations on Pacquiao and at one point pushing the Filipino against the ropes. Bradley sustained the attack in the ninth, but Pacquiao fought back, finally landing a combination on opposite sides of a missed jab by the American. Pacquiao’s left found its mark and sent Bradley to the floor a little bit more emphatically this time.
“Today it looked like he was going for a knockout,” said trainer Freddie Roach. “When he hurt Bradley, he’d go after him.”
Bradley lost mostly because he couldn’t sustain control of the rounds. He’d start out strong and then lose steam in the end, when Pacquiao would steal rounds with a flurry of combinations.
“That just boils down to concentration,” Bradley said. “I just lost concentration and he’d come on strong in the end.” With a report from Mark Giongco
ROUND 2: Counter-punching Bradley scores
ROUND 4: Pacquiao has best round
ROUND 7: Pacquiao scores knockdown
ROUND 8: Bradley recovers, rocks Pacquiao
ROUND 10: Pacquiao stays aggressive vs Bradley
ROUND 11: Bradley slowing down vs Pacquiao
ROUND 12: Pacquiao puts on a show in last round
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