It was rough in the early going, but Manny Pacquiao righted one of the more egregious wrongs in recent boxing memories, defeating Timothy Bradley tonight (Sat., April 12, 2014) on scores of 118-110 and two 116-112's.
For what it's worth, MMAmania.com scored the bout 117-111 for Pac-Man.
Bradley looked excellent in the early going, using aggression and heavy body shots to force Manny to retreat. Showing shades of the Provodnikov fight, Bradley fought fearlessly, stifling the Filipino sensation's vaunted offensive assault and even rattling him in the fourth round.
After that, though, things changed. Manny started moving forward and Bradley could not handle him on the retreat.
On the attack, Manny's combinations flowed beautifully. While not pinpoint accurate, he threw with much greater volume than Bradley, who bafflingly elected to let Manny tee off on him on the ropes to taunt him. On the front foot, Manny was able to consistently land his left hand and, for the most part, avoid the wild counter strikes of Bradley.
Tim was game, though, firing back with impunity. He just couldn't stop the advance, allowing Manny to take over the fight late and earn the unanimous decision.
One of the criticisms leveled at Pacquiao after the first fight was his inconsistent output. He tended to wait to unload until late in the round and dropped his output considerably in the later rounds. Here, though, that issue was nowhere to be seen, as he fought from bell to bell for all twelve.
In my opinion, Bradley's style makes up for his lack of power by looking impressive. He throws punches with his whole body clearly behind them and is willing to take punches for the sake of showing off. He excels at making his opponents look bad; here, though, it backfired, and he gave Manny too much room to operate.
In any case, both men remain some of the best in the business at welterweight. With Top Rank's limited stable, it will be interesting to see where they go from here.
For quick results and round-by-round coverage of the night's proceedings, click here.