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Timothy Bradley Defeats Manny Pacquiao in Controversial Split Decision

by Photo of Alex Ellefson

Timothy Bradley upset Manny Pacquiao in controversial split decision to become the new WBO World Welterweight Champion on Saturday, June 9.

Timothy Bradley  Defeats Manny Pacquiao in Controversial Split Decision

There isn't much controversy over who actually won Saturday's fight between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley. Even Bradley knows that the decision should have gone to Pacquiao. Immediately after his controversial win, when asked if he believed he had won the fight, Bradley said that he would have to go home and look at the tape to find out. He even offered to do a rematch to make up for the unpopular decision. 

Pacquiao was equally confident that he should have won the fight. He waved victoriously to the crowd after the split decision went in Bradley's favor and when asked if he'd be willing to do a rematch, Manny responded, "Absolutely, yes."

Numbers don't lie. Pacquiao landed 253 punches to Bradley's 159. Throughout the fight Manny Pacquiao demonstrated that he still has the speed, power, and stamina that made him a global superstar. He dominated Bradley in nearly every round, landing thirty-four percent of his punches to Bradley's nineteen. 

You don't have to look at the numbers to see who won the fight. Bradley was simply outboxed. At times he looked bewildered and was only able to throw out his jab to keep Pacquiao at a distance. He was menaced by Pacquiao's straight left, which is recognized as one of the most dangerous weapons in boxing. Every round should have gone to Manny, but it could be argued that Bradley won the last two rounds when Pacquiao slowed down. Bradley is a tough fighter who is acknowledged for his determination in the ring. Had he lost, Bradley might have been applauded for his tenacity.  

The split decision may have gone in Bradley's favor because he finished the fight. Pacquiao was less aggressive towards the end, probably because he was confident that he had won the first ten rounds. It's worth pointing out that Pacquiao's latest victory against Juan Emanual Marquez was just as controversial. Marquez had more accuracy with his punches, though Manny landed more. But that fight was close—in Pacquiao's loss to Bradley, his numbers were overwhelmingly superior.

Perhaps the judges were simply annoyed at the diva-like qualities Pacquiao showcased when he delayed the start of the main event. After the preliminary fight between Jorge Arce and Jesus Rojas ended abruptly, Pacquiao had to stretch his calves on the treadmill before he could enter the ring. Fans could only watch Timothy Bradley anxiously pace in circles while they waited a half an hour for Pacquiao to get ready. Based on how poorly the fight was scored, maybe the judges wanted to put Manny in his place.

A rematch of the fight could happen as early as November. In the fallout of the decision, the much-anticipated battle between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. will likely be further deferred. 

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