Filipino fighter Manny Pacquiao regained his WBO welterweight world title with a unanimous victory over Timothy Bradley Jr. at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas Saturday night.
The fight was Bradley’s first loss. "I tried, I really tried," Bradley (31-1, 12 KOs) told USA Today after the fight. "I really wanted that knockout. Manny is a great fighter, one of the best in the world. I tried throwing something over the top. I knew I had to do more in this fight than the last fight."
The fight was a rematch of a controversial 2012 fight in which Bradley won in a split decision. On Saturday, Bradley said he pulled a calf muscle in the first round. The injury left Bradley going for a one-punch knockout, a situation Pacquiao was careful to avoid after having been caught by a knock-out punch in 2012 against Juan Manuel Marquez. Bradley threw more punches than Pacquiao but connected on fewer and was often lunging.
All three judges had it for Pacquiao, 118-110, 116-112 and 116-112, ESPN.com reported.
"He gave me a good fight. He's not that easy," Pacquiao told ESPN.com. "I listened to my corner about keeping my hands up and timing. He threw a lot of punches. He threw wide, wide, wide hooks. I got hit one time and said it's not good to be careless."
Bradley gave Pacquiao credit for the victory.
"I have no excuses," Bradley said. "Stuff happens. I got nothing to say about it. ?You can't say nothing against Manny. I lost to one of the best fighters in the world. Manny fought his heart out. I tip my hat to his whole corner, Freddie Roach and his whole team," he told ESPN.com.
Bradley, 30, earned $6 million plus a share of the pay-per-view profits. Pacquiao, 35, (56-5-2, 38 KOs), was guaranteed $20 million plus upside on the pay-per-view profits, ESPN.com reported.
ESPN.com offered this description of the fight: Pacquiao closed in on Bradley in the sixth round with a flurry that backed Bradley into the ropes. Pacquiao fired about a dozen unanswered punches with Bradley in a corner in the seventh round. The two traded exchanges in the ninth, and by the 10th round, the right side of Bradley's face was red and swollen from taking so many of Pacquiao’s left hands. Bradley swung for the fences in the final round but was unable to land much more than an accidental head butt that opened a cut over Pacquiao's left eye.
Pacquiao's next fight could be against the winner of the May 17 title elimination bout between Juan Manuel Marquez and Mike Alvarado. The winner will be Pacquiao's mandatory challenger.