LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 09: (R-L) Manny Pacquiao lands a left to the head of Timothy Bradley during their WBO welterweight title fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena on June 9, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
In the main event of the Pacquiao vs. Bradley HBO pay-per-view (PPV) that took place last night (Sat., June 9, 2012) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, pound-for-pound great Manny Pacquiao returned to the ring to put his WBO welterweight championship on the line against undefeated banger Timothy Bradley.
And the mighty has fallen.
Pacquiao settled into a nice groove early, firing off punches that were landing with shocking precision. His speed was clearly an issue for Bradley, just as Freddie Roach said it would be.
That didn't mean "Desert Storm" would go out easy. Indeed, he made it a brawl when he could, engaging "Pacman" with heavy counter punches winging wildly around the ring.
But Pacquiao's relentless left hand was finding its mark far too often. And when he unleashed with flurries, Bradley's discomfort was palpable, his pain visible. He spun his head every which way to avoid Pacquiao's onslaught but the Filipino fighting machine was a sniper at close range, every shot seemingly hitting its target point with power like Bradley had never felt before.
As the fight wore on, Manny's problematic calves weren't the story so much as Bradley's legs were. Which is to say, the former held up fine while the latter stayed in a constant state of unsteadiness. Fatigue started to set in with the challenger fading fast under the champion's relentless pressure.
But then Bradley caught a second win late and came with everything he had.
He smothered "Pacman" and landed hard counter punches while Pacquiao seemed to settle down and cruise to the scorecards. Unfortunately, they betrayed him.
The judges awarded Bradley a split decision victory by scores of 115-113, 113-115, 115-113.
For complete results and round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire Pacquiao vs. Bradley PPV event click here.