It was billed as a "Manny Pacquiao weekend," but no one apparently told Timothy Bradley
The undefeated challenger Bradley shocked the world by eking out a split decision over Manny Pacquiao, backing up his pre-fight bravado with an unyielding performance that allowed him to keep his record immaculate, while also claiming the WBO Welterweight title, Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, in front of a largely pro-Pac-Man crowd.
One judge gave Pacquiao 115-113, but the other two scored it the same, but for Bradley.
Boos drowned out Bradley's post-fight interview, as the predominantly-Pacquiao audience let their feelings known.
It was a stunning victory by 28-year-old, who was ranked eighth by The Ring Magazine on its list of pound-for-pound fighters, as he dispatched the number one-ranked Pacquiao.
Earlier in the week, Bradley told BET.com that he didn't think Pacquiao was as hungry as he used to be, and indeed, the fighter known as "Desert Storm" seemed to want it more.
Bradley also went to town with mocked-up posters, tickets and programs advertising a "Pacquiao versus Bradley II" fight during training and during their pre-fight press conference, based off a clause in the fighter's contract that would allow Pacquiao to immediately seek a rematch in event of a defeat.
That turned out to be exactly what happened.
The fight will also give additional fuel to calls for Pacquiao to retire. His own trainer, the legendary Freddie Roach, had said that he would call on his ward to step down "if he looks bad," while back in March, Pacquiao himself told a radio show that God had told him in a dream to retire.
The beginning of the actual bout was delayed as Pacquiao wanted to finish the ending of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals, and then took extra time to loosen up his calves.
Sunday, June 10, 2012
Bradley stuns, beats Pacquiao by split decision