Timothy Bradley shocked the boxing world on Saturday, defeating pound-for-pound contender Manny Pacquiao by split decision at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Bradley moved to 29-0, winning on two scores of 115-113, with one judge scoring the fight 115-113 for Pacquiao. Pacquiao’s 15-fight win streak come to an end as he fell to 54-4-2, suffering his first loss since a 2005 decision loss to Erik Morales.
We at SBNation Los Angeles scored the fight 118-110 for Pacquiao, and HBO’s ringside scorer Harold Lederman had it 119-110. To say this was a controversial and questionable outcome is an understatement of epic proportions. In short, Pacquiao was the better fighter, out-landed Bradley and landed the more meaningful punches by a wide margin. Bradley did land some good shots throughout the fight, coming forward and trying to get in close to Pacquiao, but Pacquiao seemed unfazed by everything that Bradley hit him with.
Listening to the fighters in the ring after the fight, one almost got the sense that even Bradley knew he had lost the fight. He noted how he would go back and look at the tape and see if he won. What fighter ever says that after a victory? Pacquiao was classy in "defeat" saying he thought he won the fight but respecting the judges’ decisions.
One of the most unfortunate offshoots of the controversial fight is that it perhaps ends any possibility of Pacquiao linking up for a mega fight with Floyd Mayweather. The next fight for both Bradley and Pacquiao will most likely be a rematch, which many have speculated will take place on November 10. And while there will be plenty of time for that fight to gain steam, and with Bradley winning it sure will be a highly-anticipated event, it’s not what boxing fans want to see next.
Whether or not it was ever going to happen, the prospect of Mayweather-Pacquiao is now as dark as ever, and you can thank the two judges sitting ringside Saturday who thought that Timothy Bradley won seven of the 12 rounds against Manny Pacquiao.
He simply didn’t.