Pacquiao avenges Bradley defeat
Veteran Manny Pacquiao reclaimed the WBO welterweight title with a unanimous points decision victory over Timothy Bradley in Las Vegas.
- Related Content
In the process he avenged a highly controversial defeat to the previously-unbeaten American in June 2012 and reignited talk of a 'superfight' with Floyd Mayweather.
Two judges scored the fight 116-112 for Pacquiao, while a third saw it as a 118-110 win for the Filipino. In their previous fight, Bradley was awarded a split decision victory that many felt Pacquiao had won clearly.
"He threw a lot of punches and I didn't want to be careless," said Pacquiao. "In the second half of the fight, I listened to my corner and they told me to work on the timing of my punches.
"Freddie Roach told me to make adjustments and I did. Bradley was wild on the outside so I took it to the inside."
The first few rounds were explosive, with Pacquiao the aggressor and Bradley looking to land big counter right hands as the Filipino moved forward.
The third in particular was wild - both men exchanging vicious blows, a pair of lefts from Pacquiao being followed by an uppercut and a right hand from Bradley and a series of ripping body shots by the American.
Going through the fifth the American appeared to be on top, with Pacquiao looked increasingly uncertain how to land cleanly without exposing himself to Bradley's spiteful counters.
But in the sixth, the momentum shifted decisively.
Bradley appeared to tire and Pacquiao adjusted his style to throw fast combinations and move out of the way before Bradley had the chance to counter.
The seventh was probably the best round for 'Pac Man' - he pinned Bradley to the ropes and unleashed punch after punch.
Bradley gamely beckoned him on and Pacquiao paused warily before resuming his assault and landing a hard left hand that rocked the American.
Bradley had his moments, notably in the ninth round when he connected with Pacquiao's chin, but the best work came from his opponent, who saw the fight out with ease.
Bradley said he had been going for the knockout.
"I tried. I really tried," he said. "I wanted that knockout. Manny's a great fighter, maybe one of the best ever. I lost to one of the best."