A Theft In Vegas: Bradley Gets Shocking Split Decision Over Pacquiao
LAS VEGAS, NV – The decision was supposed to be a foregone conclusion as the scores were tallied following what most viewed as a dominant title defense for Manny Pacquiao over Timothy Bradley at the MGM Grand
Instead, a surprise controversial verdict may have permanently altered all hopes for the biggest proposed superfight in boxing history between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.
Timothy Bradley became the new WBO welterweight champion tonight by scores of 115-113, 113-115 and 115-113 to become the first man to “defeat” Pacquiao in seven years.
Bradley looked strong in the opening two minutes of the first round. He worked left hooks downstairs and kept Pacquaio honest with straight rights. But within the last 30 seconds, Pacquiao would land three straight lefts that got the challenger’s attention and ignited the crowd.
That punch would be a recurring theme throughout the night.
Pacquiao’s left would give him decisive edges in rounds two and three. In the latter stanza, Bradley tried to force exchanges which still favored Pacquiao’s speed and power. Bradley was wobbled and stunned in the fourth, but continued forcing wild exchanges to his detriment.
The fifth marked a turning point as Bradley began to fight off the backfoot and counter. Although Pacquiao taunted him with chest-pounding, Bradley maintained his composure and had a decent sixth where he finally avoided the straight left. The seventh featured both fighters going for broke in the last minute; Bradley found pay-dirt with his right hooks and Pacquiao returned the punishment in kind with straight lefts.
After a subdued eighth that saw Pacquiao at times smirking at Bradley’s punches, the champion got active again in the ninth. Pacquiao strafed Bradley with all facets of his left hand: uppercuts, crosses and hooks. Bradley showed a strong chin and had sporadic moments of his own with right hooks downstairs.
The championship rounds found Bradley doing better with his activity while Pacquiao landing the more effective blows. Pacquiao simply followed Bradley around in the 10th and picked up his pace in the 11th by re-establishing the left hand. The closing 12th was a clear Bradley round and one of the few most expected he’d receive on the scorecards.
The decision was met with loud and prolonged boos that drowned out much of Bradley’s post-fight interview. Bradley’s shocking win completely derails any chance for a Pacquiao-Mayweather matchup in the fall, as Top Rank CEO Bob Arum will likely pursue a Pacquiao-Bradley rematch in November.
The victory gives Timothy Bradley his first title at welterweight.