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Manny gets sweet revenge

Pacquiao Dominates Bradley To Regain World Crown

Las Vegas — The long wait was well worth it for Manny Pacquiao, who regained his pride, soothe his bruised ego, and became a world champion again Saturday night (Sunday afternoon in the Philippines).

That came after the fighting congressman from Sarangani province scored a 12-round unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Tim Bradley of the United States before a near-sellout crowd of 15,600 at the MGM Grand.

Manny Pacquiao, Timothy Bradley, Manila Bulletin

SMACK ON THE FACE (AFP) – Manny Pacquiao rocks Timothy Bradley with a straight left during their WBO World Welterweight Championship title match at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on April 12, 2014.

The win was sweet revenge for the 35-year-old Pacquiao who lost to Bradley, 30, on a controversial split verdict almost two years ago.

In the much-awaited rematch, there was no doubt Pacquiao was the better fighter as he scored heavily in rounds two and three and during the last few rounds when he unleashed flurries that had Bradley either looking for cover or stumbling across the ring like a skid row drunk.

“I am so happy to be a world champion again,” said Pacquiao, whose win awarded him the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title in the very same venue where Bradley had beaten him in June 2012.

“Bradley was much better than in the first fight we had. He hurt me on the chin,” said Pacquiao, who pocketed $20 million plus a share of the pay-per-view revenues.

Judge Glenn Trowbridge of Nevada scored it 118-111, while Michael Pernick of Florida and Craig Metcalf of Canada both had it 116-112. The Manila Bulletin scored it 118-111.

Compubox Statistics

Compubox showed Pacquiao throwing a total of 563 punches and landing 198 for 35 percent, while Bradley had 627 but connected just 141 for 22 percent.

Of the 563, Pacquiao unleashed 344 power punches and landed 148 for 43 percent. Bradley almost had the same number with 340 but he connected just 109 for 32 percent.

At the start, the rematch looked like a replay of their first meeting although Pacquiao was more dominant this time. Bradley spent plenty of time ducking and weaving to avoid being struck by Pacquiao’s thunderous punches.

Pacquiao’s Biggest Rounds

Pacquiao’s biggest rounds came in the second, sixth and seventh when he scored on multiple combinations while on his bicycle.

Bradley had his finest moment in the fourth when his overhand right landed on Pacquiao’s face, sending the Filipino boxing icon backing away and the pro-Pacquiao crowd on the edge of their seat.

It was to be Bradley’s last stand, however, as Pacquiao dominated the rest of the way, flicking his right jabs and throwing lefts to the body and rights and lefts to the head.

Good Words From Bradley

Boastful and brash before the fight, Bradley had nothing but good words for Pacquiao during the post-fight press conference.

“He just had too much experience and he used it,” said Bradley, who wore a dark pair of glasses when he faced the media.

Bradley was quick to admit that “Pacquiao was the better man tonight” as he downplayed the calf injury he sustained in the first round.

“I don’t want to talk about that, and I don’t want to take anything away from Pacquiao,” said Bradley, who was guaranteed $6 million and a slice of the PPV sales.

Scariest Moment

Pacquiao said the scariest moment for him was when Bradley landed the overhand right which “hurt me on the chin.”

Still, Pacquiao said he didn’t become overly aggressive when he had Bradley in trouble a few times because he did not want to fall into a trap just like the way he did when he faced Juan Manuel Marquez in December 2012.

“I didn’t want to become careless,” added Pacquiao, who proved his mastery of Bradley on his 24th bout on US soil.

There were no knockdowns scored but blood was spilled in the dying seconds of the 12th and final round when an accidental headbutt opened a gash on Pacquiao’s left eyebrow.

This was the main reason why it took Pacquiao hours to finally appear during the post-fight press conference. By the time he faced the media, it was way past midnight and a number had already left the building.

Pacquiao’s win boosted his record to 55-6-2 with 38 KOs. Bradley dropped to 31-1 with 12 KOs.

Pacquiao is tentatively scheduled to leave for Manila on Wednesday or Friday.

Righting a Big Wrong

Pacquiao’s performance righted one of the biggest perceived wrongs in recent boxing history. Pacquiao was an eight-division world champion on 15-fight winning streak when Bradley was awarded a split decision in their last bout.

Pacquiao was more aggressive and accurate from the opening minutes of the rematch, sticking to trainer Freddie Roach’s pleas to take the action to Bradley. They exchanged big shots in the opening rounds, but Pacquiao appeared to wear out Bradley with the heavy early pace — and the Pacman never slowed down.

From 1st To 12th

Pacquiao landed a series of big left hands in the early rounds, knocking back Bradley with gusto. Bradley responded impressively in the fourth round, wobbling Pacquiao twice with a right hand.

The pace slowed in the fifth, with Bradley showing off his defense and movement while Pacquiao attempted to trap him against the ropes.

Pacquiao appeared to wobble Bradley late in the seventh round with a vicious combination, but Bradley stood with his back against the ropes and defiantly encouraged it, blocking most of the shots. Bradley appeared to pretend to have wobbly legs at one point after a Pacquiao miss, but his open mouth betrayed his weariness while Pacquiao steadily racked up rounds midway through the fight.

Bradley came on strong in the 12th, and the fighters’ heads collided late in the round. Pacquiao avoided any trouble until the final bell, when he did a short dance step to his corner.

Magnificent Triumph

Malacañang joined the Filipino nation in celebrating Pacquiao’s latest impressive triumph in the boxing ring. Presidential Communications Operations Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. congratulated Pacquiao for defeating Bradley in Las Vegas, saying he has displayed anew Filipino resiliency and excellence. “We join the Filipino nation in celebrating the magnificent triumph of our national treasure in global sports, Congressman Manny Pacquiao. He embodies the world-class qualities of the Filipino in many competitive fields. We can hold our heads up high by dint of our industry, hard work and courage,” Coloma said.

Other Accolades

Vice President Jejomar Binay congratulated Pacquiao for his victory over Bradley. “Once again, Manny has showcased the Filipino’s heart and determination to overcome challenges. Manny will always be the people’s champion,” said Binay in a statement.

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. led the House of Representatives in congratulating Pacquiao for getting back his WBO welterweight championship belt in a convincing unanimous decision over Bradley. “Manny has once again shown us that focusing on discipline and determination makes no battle insurmountable,” said Belmonte. He added: “We thank Manny not only for again bringing pride to our nation but more so for continuing to be an awesome inspiration and source of hope for the Filipino youth.”

Senators once again hailed Pacquiao for securing another victory for the Philippines after defeating Bradley. Sen. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara said Pacquiao’s victory is “indeed, a resounding victory for the 100 million Filipinos.”

Sen. Ma. Lourdes “Nancy” Binay also lauded the boxing icon for showing the Filipino courage in the ring. “Once again, you proved to all your kababayans and to the rest of the world, the bravery, fortitude and fighting will of the Filipino spirit,” Binay said.

Pacquiao’s victory showcased the Filipino people’s resiliency and determination to rise above challenges, a military spokesman said. “The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) shares with the Filipino people the victory of Manny Pacquiao. As a reserve officer in the Philippine Army, he manifested how Filipinos rise up to excel in whatever undertaking we face as we all work hard to accomplish our goals as a people and as a nation,” said Brig. Gen. Doningo Tutaan, Jr., the AFP spokesman.

Advice to BIR

Partylist lawmakers yesterday asked Bureau of Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares not to deliver the tax bill that might “knock out” Pacquiao while he and his fans are still savoring his outstanding comeback as the world’s welterweight boxing champ. “Don’t knock him out yet. The BIR should be kind to Manny,” OFW Family party-list Rep. Roy Seneres said following Pacquiao’s win over Bradley. (With reports from AP, Genalyn D. Kabiling, Charissa M. Luci, Anna Liza Villas Alavaren, Ben Rosario, Hannah L. Torregoza, Elena L. Aben)