Timothy Bradley is talked to by trainer Joel Diaz between rounds of his title fight against Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo by Steve Marcus, Reuters
When Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao controversially lost to Tim Bradley in June 2012, the “Pacman” was gracious in defeat. Two years later, “Desert Storm” returned the favor after losing their rematch.
Pacquiao exacted his revenge against Bradley Saturday in Las Vegas, outworking the American over 12 rounds to win a unanimous decision and reclaim his WBO welterweight championship.
Bradley, who lost for the first time in 32 professional fights, was quick to pay tribute to the “Pacman” after the bout.
“He’s the better fighter tonight. That’s what it is,” said Bradley. “He has impeccable timing, great footwork. He’s very coordinated, with tremendous punching power.”
Bradley got a measure of satisfaction from surviving until the final bell even though he fought with an injury on his right calf. Despite this, he told ESPN after the fight that he has “no excuses.”
“Stuff happens,” he said. “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 added.
Leading up to the fight, Bradley repeatedly questioned Pacquiao’s killer instinct and hunger, and the Filipino answered those questions as he peppered Bradley with power punches, especially in the seventh round.
“I picked up more steam in the second half when I made adjustments,” Pacquiao told ESPN. “Bradley is much better than in the first fight we had. He hurt me on the chin.”
Bradley said he wanted to go for a knockout, which would have given him a decisive victory against the Filipino after winning their first fight in June 2012 in controversial fashion.
“I tried. I really tried,” said the American. “I wanted that knockout. Manny is a great fighter, one of the best in the world. I lost to one of the greatest fighters in boxing.”
Fight statistics showed that Bradley threw more punches, 627, to 563 by Pacquiao, but the Filipino fighter landed 198 punches, or 35% to only 141, or 22% for Bradley.