Manny Pacquiao Recaptures Welterweight Championship

Manny Pacquiao

Timothy Bradley and Manny Pacquiao squared off in Las Vegas for the WBO World Welterweight Championship. Not since the Oscar De La Hoya vs Tito Trinidad boxing event has there been a fight as closely watched as this one. The long-awaited rematch against the two fighters did not start until after midnight, which was a bit unusual for the pay per view event, however the late start time didn’t take away from the action in the ring. Manny Pacquiao came determined to recapture the welterweight championship and set a tone for the boxing world that no one else but Manny can set.

As Pacquiao came out to Katy Perry’s ‘Eye of the Tiger’, Manny had his eyes set on reclaiming the welterweight championship. Bradley came out with not only something to prove, but a determination to walk out of Las Vegas with his belt. Bradley was able to dodge Pacquiao’s barrage of punches during most of the match. While Bradley was struggling to make contact, Manny Pacquiao saw his openings and took Bradley to his limit. During the end of the seventh round, Pacquiao had the opportunity to finish Bradley off. Due to hesitation, Manny was not able to capitalize on his connected combinations. This can be partially blamed to his fight with Marquez in which he was knocked out after going for the finish prematurely.

As the match continued, Bradley decided to be careful and not attempt to throw as many punches after taking a beating in the previous rounds. Although Bradley was winning the match up of most punches landed, he continued to lose balance and missed most of his punches due to the rapid foot work of Pacquiao. Manny continued with a set of flurries and looked terrific throughout the rounds. Bradley had to resort to frequent holds just to catch short rests. As Manny Pacquiao continued to look as if he was about to recapture the welterweight championship, Bradley changed his fighting style to more defensive and footwork.

By the tenth round, Pacquiao was presumed to be way ahead in terms of the scorecards, Bradley would need a knockout to win the fight, however It seemed that the defending champion was more concerned about catching his breath than catching Pacquiao off guard. While Bradly did look determined to find that knockout by the eleventh round, it seemed out of reach at that point. As long as Pacquiao could avoid Bradleys punches, he would win the boxing match by decision. By the twelve round, however, that tactic went out the window.

Both fighters went full on in the final round. Punch after punch has been traded between the two gladiators until the point of exhaustion. As the seconds of the final rounds ticked away, both began to fight with a sense of urgency. At the last 12 seconds, Bradley hit Manny Pacquiao with a headbutt which momentarily paused the fight. While there are those who claims the headbutt was intentional, it would not effect the outcome of the fight The boxing match ended with neither fighter going down and Manny Pacquiao winning by decision.

Pacquiao now eyes the future. The WBO will most likely attempt again a Pacquiao Mayweather boxing meeting. Hopefully both fighters will be ready to agree to terms and give boxing fans one of the best fights in a long time. As of now, Manny Pacquiao can enjoy the welterweight championship he just recaptured and not worry about the future just yet.

Commentary by Hector Carrion

Wall Street Journal
USA Today

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