HBO PPV results: Manny Pacquiao bests Tim Bradley
In what could have very well been his last dance, Manny Pacquiao showed flashes of his former self in his unanimous decision win over Timothy Bradley Jr. on Saturday night.
All three judges ringside were in perfect alignment, each scoring the fight 116-110.
After a slow start in which both Pacquiao and Bradley tested their jabs and found their range in a tactical chess match, a skirmish in the third round, in which they traded power shots, sparked the fight. Once Pacquiao, 58-6-2 (38), began to unleash his left hand in the fourth, the chances of him landing it grew the more he threw. Now finding his groove, Pacquiao gained the early momentum and Bradley’s trainer, Teddy Atlas, could be seen fuming at his protege after the fourth and didn’t even let him sit down before scolding him.
What proceeded to follow was one of the best rounds of the fight in the fifth. The two traded power shots and the 14,665 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena erupted once the two disregarded tactics and just threw hands. While those moments of unabashed violence were sporadic, another eruption came in the seventh round when Bradley was sent to the canvas from a left hand that was more of a shove. Regardless, referee Tony Weeks ruled it a knockdown.
However, Bradley, 33-2-1 (13), reacted well in the following round with his best moment in the fight. He overwhelmed Pacquiao with body shots and clipped him with a left hand that had Manny in a scramble. It was his most vulnerable moment but Pacquiao was able to end the eighth round with a rally of his own that kept Bradley from making any momentum in the entire fight.
The ninth round was highlighted by Pacquiao’s best moment – and perhaps the most memorable of the trilogy. A left hook caught Bradley’s temple while he was slightly hunched over and it sent him into a backward somersault. It was a definitive knockdown this time around and Bradley looked bamboozled for the remainder of the round. Walking to his corner, with Atlas in his ear, Bradley shrugged his shoulders after the round was over and gave a disheartened disposition as he knew he was down considerably in the fight.
As the championship rounds played out, it was clear Manny had Tim’s number but the thought of Pacquiao playing out his final moments of a Hall of Fame career began to take over for the spectators. Pacquiao, 58-6-2 (38), even stepped of the gas pedal a bit, but snapped off some combinations to overshadow any work Bradley had done. They hugged before the final round, and in its final minute, a standing ovation came for the Filipino icon.
Whether he threw his signature feints, his quick hands, the left hook or the way he hopped in and out of the pocket, Pacquiao, 37, seemed to recapture his former self with flickers of the man who dominated the sport. He also seemed to relish the moment as he waited for Bradley in the middle of the ring before every round began, and tapped his gloves together to seemingly will himself into giving everyone a fight. It wasn’t a classic brawl by any stretch of the imagination but Pacquiao reminded everyone how special he truly is.
In the co-feature, Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez, 34-0 (24), made history after he beat Arthur Abraham, 44-5 (29), via wide unanimous decision to become the first Mexican ever to win a world super middleweight title. All three official judges favored Ramirez with shut-out scores of 120-108.
Mexican featherweight contender Oscar Valdez, 19-0 (7), received a stoppage victory in the aftermath of a left hook that dropped former IBF titlist Evgeny Gradovich, 21-2-1 (9), for the fight’s only knockdown. Referee Russell Mora disregarded his count and stopped the fight at the 2:14 mark of the fourth round.
In the opening bout of the HBO Pay-Per-View card, Jose Ramirez, 17-0 (12), stayed undefeated after earning a unanimous decision victory (97-93, 98-92, 99-91) over Manny Perez, 25-12-1 (6). The junior welterweight contest was scheduled for 10 rounds.