Manny Pacquiao won a 12-round unanimous decision over Timothy Bradley at the MGM Grand Garden Arena tonight to avenge his controversial 2012 loss to the previously unbeaten American.
The Filipino boxing icon improved to 56-5 with two drawn and 38 wins inside the distance as he regained the World Boxing Organization welterweight world title he lost to Bradley in June 2012.
Although he couldn’t get his first knockout win since 2009, Pacquiao lived up to his pre-fight promise to come out with more aggression, denying Bradley’s avowed aim of sending him into retirement with another defeat.
“I think I can go another two years,” said Pacquiao, who has won world titles in an unprecedented eight weight divisions. “I’m so happy to be world champion again. Tim Bradley was not an easy fight.”
Bradley, who said he fought from the first round with a right calf injury, fell to 31-1, with 12 knockouts.
“Life goes on,” Bradley said of his first pro defeat. “It’s back to the gym. Not a big deal.”
Judge Glen Trowbridge scored the bout 118-110 for Pacquiao, while Michael Pernick and Canada’s Craig Metcalf saw it 116-112 for the “Pacman”, whose every move was cheered by the star-studded crowd of 15,601.
After a tight first round, Pacquiao made his power felt in the second.
The third saw both fighters exchange at a furious rate, Pacquiao again landing the more damaging blows.
But Bradley shook Pacquiao in the fourth, and Pacquiao said California’s “Desert Storm” was an improved fighter from the one who took a bitterly debated split decision in their first fight.
Although the pace slowed in the later rounds, Pacquiao put together multi-punch combinations in the seventh and out-worked Bradley in the remaining rounds.
After throwing few punches in the 11th, a desperate Bradley swung wildly in the 12th, and Pacquiao finished the fight with a cut over his left eye from a clash of heads late in the final round.