Pacquiao takes his belt back
By Derek de Vera
The Philippine Reporter
Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao was robbed of his WBO Welterweight title back in June of 2012. He outboxed his opponent Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley and landed almost 100 more punches in their first fight. Yet somehow two judges, C.J. Ross and Duane Ford, scored the fight in favour of Bradley, providing him with the majority decision and the WBO Championship belt.
Much has happened since, including Manny’s knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez before his comeback fight against Brandon Rios in Macau which he won easily by decision. Bradley won wars versus Pacquiao stablemate, Ruslan Provodnikov and also Manny’s nemesis, Marquez.
Fast forward 22 months later, the 35 year old Filipino achieved the victory that eluded him by again outboxing and controlling the action. Bradley came out strong in the first few rounds, throwing heavy shots both upstairs and to the body, compromising technique for power and landing one of the biggest punches of the night in the fourth round when he knocked Pacquiao off his feet with a big right hand although Manny kept his balance and was able to stay off the canvas.
Pacquiao owned the second half of the fight by controlling the distance with his foot movement and ring generalship. He was able to give Bradley angles that has made him one of the best boxers in any era. Manny kept coming forward throughout the match, getting Timothy Bradley on the ropes where he unleashed his flurries.
It was evident that Bradley was bothered by some sort of injury early in the fight as he would limp back to his corner at the end of each round and that was confirmed in the post-fight interview when he admitted he had suffered a calf injury in the first round, although he deflected it as an excuse and giving full credit to Pacquiao. He was gracious in defeat, the first loss of his career.
Pacquiao intends to fight again this fall, most likely against the winner of the Mike Alvarado / Juan Manuel Marquez fight on May 17th. If Marquez wins and they agree on the fight it will be the fifth of their historic rivalry. Until then let us enjoy the “Pacman” era while it is still here as nothing has brought so many Filipinos worldwide together than a boxer from the slums who has gained recognition throughout the boxing world as one of the best ever.