In a fight Pacquiao seemed to have in hand, two judges decided otherwise, giving Bradley a split decision Saturday night and ending the Filipino fighter’s remarkable seven-year unbeaten run.
Promoter Bob Arum fumed, the crowd at the MGM Grand arena booed, and Pacquiao seemed stunned when the decision was announced. Arum said there would be a November rematch, though he blasted the way the decision went down.
“I’ve never been as ashamed of the sport of boxing as I am tonight,” said Arum, who handles both fighters.
Bradley came on strong in the later rounds, winning five of the last six rounds on two scorecards and four on the third. He won 115-113 on two scorecards, while losing on the third by the same margin. The Associated Press had Pacquiao winning 117-111.
“I did my best,” Pacquiao said. “I guess my best wasn’t good enough.”
(Credit: JOHN GURZINSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Pacquiao tried to turn the fight into a brawl, using his power to hurt Bradley in the early rounds. But Bradley changed tactics in the middle rounds and used his boxing skills to win enough rounds to take the narrow decision for the welterweight title.
It ended a 15-fight winning streak by Pacquiao dating to 2005 that turned him into a boxing superstar and made him a national hero in the Philippines.
“I thought I won the fight,” Bradley said. “I didn’t think he was as good as everyone says he was. I didn’t feel his power.”
Ringside punching statistics showed Pacquiao landing 253 punches to 159 for Bradley, who vowed before the fight to take the 147-pound title from Pacquiao. The Compubox statistics showed Pacquiao landing more punches in 10 of the 12 rounds.
Bradley was so confident that he had oversized tickets printed up for a Nov. 10 rematch that will now likely happen.
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