Pacquiao retires with a big win
Pacquiao returned from the biggest loss of his career with a bang Saturday night, knocking down Timothy Bradley twice on his way to a unanimous 12-round decision in their welterweight showdown.
Pacquiao shook off the ring rust from a layoff of nearly a year after losing to Floyd Mayweather Jr. to beat Bradley for a second time in the rubber match between the two fighters. In doing so, the Senate candidate in his native Philippines showed he may have to reconsider his plans to retire and devote his full time to politics.
Pacquiao (58-6-2) knocked down Bradley (33-2-1) in the seventh round, though Bradley seemed to have slipped. He left no doubt in the ninth with a big left hand that sent Bradley sprawling.
The fight was scored 116-110 by all three ringside judges. The Associated Press had it 117-110.
In the final seconds, many in the crowd of 14,665 at the MGM Grand arena were on their feet chanting “Manny! Manny!” as Pacquiao tried to end the bout with a flourish. He never came close to finishing off Bradley, though he was so far ahead on the ringside scorecards that it didn’t matter.
If the fight was indeed the end of the 37-year-old Pacquiao’s career, it was a remarkable one. Aside from the loss to Mayweather last year he did little wrong in winning eight weight class titles in 21 years as a pro.
“As of now I am retired,” Pacquiao said. “I am going to go home and think about it but I want to be with my family. I want to serve the people.”
Pacquiao had no problems with the right shoulder he injured against Mayweather as he stalked Bradley across the ring, looking to land big shots. He landed enough of them to make Bradley wary, and the knockdown in the ninth round seemed to take the rest of the fight out of Bradley.
“Manny was strong the entire fight and he was also very patient,” Bradley said. “I wasn’t professional enough to stay patient myself and I walked into shots.”