April 13, 2014 in Sports

Manny Pacquiao beats Timothy Bradley by decision in rematch

Greg Beacham Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

Manny Pacquiao, right, throws a punch as Timothy Bradley leans back during Saturday’s WBO welter- weight title fight.
(Full-size photo)

LAS VEGAS – Manny Pacquiao won a unanimous decision in his rematch with Timothy Bradley on Saturday night, avenging his 2012 loss and claiming the WBO welterweight title.

Pacquiao (56-5-2) pursued and peppered the previously unbeaten Bradley around the MGM Grand Garden ring with an aggressive performance recalling the Pacman in his prime. Bradley fought back with counterpunching and elusiveness, but Pacquiao kept up his attack while Bradley (31-1) struggled down the stretch.

Pacquiao left little doubt about the result of the rematch in the same arena where they met nearly two years ago. Bradley’s split-decision victory astonished most ringside observers, who felt Pacquiao had earned a clear decision.

Judges Craig Metcalfe and Michael Pernick scored the rematch 116-112 for Pacquiao, while Glenn Trowbridge favored the Filipino congressman 118-110. The Associated Press scored it 116-112 for Pacquiao.

Afterward, Bradley said he injured his right calf early on. But he applauded the decision when it was announced, and he congratulated Pacquiao in the ring.

“You won the fight, you deserved the win,” Bradley said. “I have no excuses.”

Pacquiao landed 35 percent of his 563 punches, while Bradley connected with 22 percent of his 627 blows. Pacquiao’s jab was much more effective, landing 23 percent to Bradley’s 11 percent, and the Pacman had a slight edge in landing 148 power punches to Bradley’s 109.

Pacquiao’s performance righted one of the biggest perceived wrongs in recent boxing history. Pacquiao was an eight-division world champion on 15-fight winning streak when Bradley was awarded a split decision in their last bout.

Pacquiao was more aggressive and accurate from the opening minutes of the rematch, sticking to trainer Freddie Roach’s pleas to take the action to Bradley. They exchanged big shots in the opening rounds, but Pacquiao appeared to wear out Bradley with the heavy early pace – and the Pacman never slowed down.

Although Pacquiao couldn’t knock down Bradley, he answered the questions raised by Bradley about his killer instinct with a consistent attack all night.

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