Manny Pacquiao chases undefeated WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley during their title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo by Steve Marcus, Reuters
MANILA, Philippines – By beating Timothy Bradley, Manny Pacquiao not only got a measure of revenge but also got back at the American for the sake of his fellow Filipinos.
For boxing analyst Ronnie Nathanieslz, the fighting congressman, as always, fought for Filipino pride. Unlike in his past battles, the veteran pundit believes the Filipino boxer needed Sunday's win to hit back against Bradley for insulting him.
“Kasi iba 'yung ugali ni Manny Pacquiao. To him vindication is not just for himself but for his country and his people eh. Because, Bradley by mocking him insulting him actually hurt the Filipino people so he wanted to prove him wrong,” the analyst in an inyerview on DZMM.
Nathanielsz was referring to the incident wherein Bradley said to Pacquiao’s face that the Filipino has already lost his killer instinct. The move was considered by many as a slap in the face of the Filipino superstar.
Nathanielsz also commended Pacquiao for his composure and maturity, especially after he was rocked by Bradley’s right hook in the fourth round.
“He did not get desperate. Maganda 'yung galaw niya, his timing is very good and he did not rush. He did not get callous like 'yung laban niya kay Marquez,” said the long-time sports commentator.
His fellow analyst Ed Tolentino also praised the eight-division champion for combining the warrior of old and the tactical present-day Pacquiao.
Tolentino said Pacquiao wisely avoided disaster by fighting a tactical match.
“People keep on saying na gusto naming makita ang Pacquiao na bara bara, malakas sumuntok. We keep on telling them, hindi na ‘yan si Manny Pacquiao. The evolution of Manny Pacquiao has been from caveman to Einstein,” said Tolentino.
“He went up a formidable champion, hindi ito Brandon Rios na tune up lang. this guy is good, Timothy Bradley. A champion na walang talo,” he added.
Despite being puzzled by Bradley's awkward fighting style, Pacquiao scored a unanimous decision against the American, thereby "correcting" a questionable decision win by Bradley almost two years ago.
Judges Glenn Trowbridge and Craig Metcalfe scored is 118-110, while Michael Pernick and scored it the same, 116-112.
For Bradley, it was the first loss of his career as he dropped to 31-1.
The Filipino fighter admitted that Bradley has vastly improved since they first met in 2012 when the American escaped with a split decision.
“Bradley was a lot better fighter this time,” said the Filipino, who scored his 56th win in 63 fights.
Pacquiao said he badly wanted to knock Bradley out, but chose to be cautious.
Tolentino said the Filipino champion has a valid reason to do so.
"In fairness kasi, mahirap pabagsakin si Timothy Bradley kasi napaka-unorthodox. Hindi ordinary ang kanyang defensive maneuver," explained Tolentino, citing the American's tendency to inflict damage by using headbutts.
In fact, in the last round of the rematch, Pacquiao got cut in the left eyebrow due to an accidental clash of heads.
"Kapag siya'y nasasaktan he ducks so low... kaya minsan yung suntok ni Pacquiao minsan pakalawit. kung ididiretso mo ang atake mo, bigla nyan iaangat ang mukha niya, headbutt. 'Yun ang iniiwasan ni Manny," said Tolentino.