Manny Pacquiao left it again for the judges to decide his rematch with Timothy Bradley, but this time they got it right.
In the end it was Pacquiao, the eight-time world champion, who dominated from the seventh round on to record a unanimous decision at MGM Grand Garden Arena and put life into a long-awaited dream matchup with unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Unlike the first fight with Bradley, there was no controversy in the decision. Many believed Pacquiao had won the first fight handily and the rematch showed there is still plenty left in the 35-year-old superstar from the Philippines.
The judges scored the contest 116-112, 116-112 and 118-110, awarding Pacquiao the unanimous decision victory. The win brings his record 56-5-2 and Bradley suffers his first professional defeat and moves to 31-1-1.
Bradley, a 3-1 underdog despite being unbeaten in his career, controlled the action early. The American winged heavy shots and while he was unable to score a knockdown, he kept the Filipino fighter at bay and scored the bigger punches.
As the rounds wore on, however, Bradley got away from the combination punching and body work that brought him success early. He still swung for the fences with wild punches and managed to connect on a few, but it was Pacquiao who stayed more active, even landing more shots in rounds he ostensibly lost to Bradley.
Pacquiao wasn’t able or was unwilling to do much body work, but his head hunting paid off. He was able to consistently keep Bradley backing up or pinned against the ropes where he could unleash a flurry of shots. For Pacquiao, the left straight was the bread and butter punch all night.
In the end, Pacquiao 198 of 563 attempted punches according to CompuBox while Bradley scored with 141 of 627. In terms of power shots, Pacquiao landed 148 of 344 to Bradley’s 109 of 344.
On the rest of the main card, Ray Beltran defeated Arash Usmanee via unanimous decision (118-110, 117-111, 117-111), Jessie Vargas defeated Khabib Allakhverdiev via unanimous decision (115-113, 115-113, 117-111), and Bryan Vasquez defeated Jose Felix, Jr., also by unanimous decision (117-110, 114-113, 114-113).
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