Last night, the Welterweight title was held up in the air for Timothy Bradley to take by force and for Manny Pacquiao to defend.
Prior to the main event from happening, there seemed to be a sense of frustration in Pacquiao’s camp, something just didn’t feel right.
The last and final undercard fight between Jesus Rojas and Mexican boxer Jorge Arce was cut short in the second round due to an unintentional low blow from Rojas, followed by a right hook to the ear that sent Jorge Arce to the mat. The WBO Super Bantamweight fight concluded in a non-decision.
Being that the last undercard ended prematurely, the main event was then immediately pushed into high gear. Both Bradley and Pacquiao were informed to prepare, however “Pacman” at the time had other ideas.
As many of you know, Game 7 of the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics was also played on Saturday night. Manny Pacquiao, a die-hard basketball fan, had no intentions of missing the conclusion of the game. This decision ultimately delayed his preparation for his own fight forcing almost everyone, including the boxing commission to wait for the champion.
When the Bradley camp was asked about being forced to wait, all had stated: “It wasn’t a problem at all.”
It wasn’t surprising that Timothy Bradley allowed for this situation to happen. After all, this was the 28-year-old’s biggest fight of his career. Nonetheless, it would be difficult to ignore that Pacquiao’s decision had the possibility of leaving a bad taste in everyone’s mouths, including the judges.
Now, whether this decision had anything to do with the outcome of the fight, no one will ever know.
The Miami Heat were able to eliminate the Boston Celtics in the last and final game of the series, which meant Pacquiao was finally ready to rumble. The two boxers had entered the ring and the main event was near minutes from happening.
As the bell rang in the first round, Bradley was more than aggressive, but Pacquiao at the start, seemed to be the more powerful. Manny Pacquiao continued his onslaught throughout the next few rounds, but it was evident that Bradley was not going to go away.
The young undefeated boxer, although sloppy at times, boxed and countered effectively, but never had the chance to take over the fight. Unlike the Pacquiao/Marquez fight, “Pacman” showed even better footwork and looked to be focused on dominating the matchup.
By round seven, Bradley seemed tired and was throwing punches without any solid power. Pacquiao would close this round landing twenty-seven punches compared to Bradley’s nine.
Rounds eight and nine concluded in the same fashion. Pacquiao had totally taken over the fight. Bradley moved a tremendous amount around the ring trying somehow to equalize Pacquiao’s power by throwing consistent jabs. Manny Pacquiao was in true form and it seemed that Bradley had no answers for one of the best boxers in history.
The final three rounds [10, 11, and 12] had taken a nosedive in terms of action. Many have criticized Manny Pacquiao for not being even more aggressive in the later rounds. The people’s champ seemed to almost be comfortable with taking the victory via unanimous decision.
It was during these three rounds where Timothy Bradley elevated his game. The young slugger had a little bit more “pep in his step” and started to land numerous power shots. Still, it was never enough to beat Manny Pacquiao.
As the last and final bell sounded, both fighters approached their respective corners waiting for the winner of the fight to be announced.
At one point, Timothy Bradley was even carried by one of his camp members on the shoulder. Bradley had both of his hands up signaling that he felt he won the fight.
On the other side, Pacquiao ended the fight with his usual ritual, praying to God for his performance.
The three judges finally made the decision and to everyone’s utter shock, Timothy Bradley edged out Pacquiao via a split decision [115-113 - Pacquaio, 115-113 -Bradley, and 115-113 - Bradley].
After the winner was named, which will probably rank as one of the most controversial decisions in boxing history, the fans and the boxing world were annoyed, confused, and disappointed.
According to ESPN, Bob Arum, the promoter of both fighters was outraged over the verdict.
Something like this is so outlandish, it’s a death knell for the sport. This is f—— nuts. I have both guys, and I’ll make a lot of money in the rematch, but it’s ridiculous. You have these old f—- who don’t know what the hell they’re looking at. It’s incompetence. Nobody who knows anything about boxing could have Bradley ahead in the fight.
We’re not overly sold on Arum as well. You just get the feeling that this guy has money prioritized in front of all other things. With that said, the sport of boxing had taken a huge haymaker on the chin on Saturday night. It’s going to be very difficult to lift the sport back after this decision.
What are your thoughts? What did you think of the fight?
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