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PACMAN-BRADLEY III: PACQUIAO PREPARES FOR VEGAS FAREWELL


APRIL 10 -Manny Pacquiao will climb into a boxing ring for what could be the last time here on Saturday with the Filipino icon aiming to deliver an explosive finale to his glittering 21-year career against American rival Tim Bradley.
LAS VEGAS  Manny Pacquiao will climb into a boxing ring for what could be the last time here on Saturday with the Filipino icon aiming to deliver an explosive finale to his glittering 21-year career against American rival Tim Bradley. Eleven months after being outpointed by Floyd Mayweather in the "Fight of the Century", Pacquiao has vowed to hang up his gloves to pursue a career in politics after Saturday's welterweight bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Pacquiao has said that he is treating his third meeting with Bradley as his farewell fight before returning to the Philippines to seek a seat in the country's Senate next month, which could tee up a future tilt at the presidency. "I'm sad because this is my last fight," Pacquiao said shortly after Friday's weigh-in, where he tipped the scales at 145.5 pounds before a cheering crowd of several thousand fans. "I want to make a good fight and make the people happy. We did everything in this training camp to win convincingly." The 37-year-old eight division world champion has, however, refused to definitively rule out the possibility of prolonging a boxing career that has earned him around $500 million over the course of 65 often bruising battles. ‘Tough to give up’ "I cannot say that I'm not going to come back," Pacquiao said this week, explaining that his mindset may change once he retires. "I don't know how I'll feel when I hang up my gloves." Those closest to Pacquiao, including his long-time trainer Freddie Roach and the veteran promoter Bob Arum, believe he may yet return. READ MORE...

ALSO: FINAL BLOW IN FAREWELL FIGHT


APRIL 10 -LAS VEGAS. – Manny Pacquiao defeated Timothy Bradley by unanimous decision in the rubber match between the fighters on Saturday, prevailing in what the Filipino boxing icon has said is the final fight of his career.
Pacquiao, who bounced back from a controversial split-decision defeat to Bradley in 2012 with a decisive win two years later, delivered the final blow in their welterweight clash at the MGM Grand as all three judges scored it 116-110 in his favor. With the crowd f 14,655 chanting “Manny” at the end, Pacquiao (58-6-2) maintained that he is heading into retirement and continuing his political career in the Philippines. “As of now, I’m retired. I have a commitment to my family that I’m going to retire after this and we don’t know,” Pacquiao told ringside reporters. “If you ask me about if I’m coming back, maybe I enjoy by being retired and serving and helping the people.”  The former eight-division champion is looking for a knockout win in next month’s general elections. Opinion polls showed him running 10th in the senatorial race. After a slow start narrowly controlled by Bradley, the 37-year-old Pacquiao seized the momentum in the middle portion after a furious fifth round. Pacquiao then caught an off balance Bradley with a right hand to the ear to drop him in the seventh, but the American surprisingly bounced back to hurt Pacquiao during the eighth. From there Pacquiao wrested back control, highlighted by a right uppercut that dropped Bradley in the ninth. At the strong urging of his trainer Teddy Atlas, Bradley (33-2-1) continued to hang on in the latter rounds though he appeared to be in trouble at the final bell. “Every round (I was) looking for a KO but Bradley is a very good boxer,” Pacquiao said of the performance, which may go some way to helping cement his legacy after a disappointing fight against Floyd Mayweather in May last year. READ MORE...

ALSO: SAY IT AIN’T SO, MANNY


APRIL 10 -MANNY Pacquiao yesterday proved that he still has what it takes but stood by his decision to retire after beating Timothy Bradley by unanimous decision at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
“Physically, if you ask me, I’m still okay. I can still fight. But I made my decision to return to the Philippines and help the people, spend more time with the family,” Pacquiao said in a post-fight interview. Pacquiao is gunning for one of the 12 senatorial slots in the May 9 general elections and poll surveys show is he running No. 10. Bob Arum, his long-time promoter, reflected on Pacquiao’s career while looking ahead to the future without him. “It’s been great. He’s a great person. I understand, a chapter closes but another chapter opens. Manny Pacquiao will probably pass from the boxing scene now, go on to a political career,” Arum said. “But hey, the old man got three young Hispanics ready to come and take center stage.”  Fighting for the first time since losing by unanimous decision to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in May last year, Pacquiao knocked Bradley down in the seventh and ninth rounds on the way to a 116-110, 116-110, 116-110 decision. “Like I said, this was different from the last two fights because I was looking for a knockdown every round. But he stopped, you know. My opponent stopped boxing so he survived 12 rounds. But I did my best,” he said. “His style is counterpunching so I’m not careless in the ring.”  READ MORE...

ALSO: Pacquiao beats Bradley, quits boxing ‘Yes, I am retired’ – Manny


APRIL 11 -GOODBYE, BOXING. HELLO, SENATE – Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao (left) throws a right jab to set up his patented left straight that floored American Timothy Bradley towards the end of the seventh round of their 12-round welterweight encounter yesterday at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas, Nevada. (AP)
Las Vegas, Nevada — Manny Pacquiao did Saturday night (yesterday in Manila) what he could not in their previous bouts, flooring American rival Timothy Bradley twice on his way to a masterful 12-round unanimous decision in their welterweight war at the MGM Grand, here. As retirement beckons for the 37-year-old Pacquiao, holder of an unprecedented eight world titles in as many weight classes, the Filipino put on a show of force against Bradley, scoring knockdowns in rounds seven and nine. The three judges, Burt Clements and Dave Moretti, both from Las Vegas and Steve Weisfeld of New York, all agreed in scoring 116-110 for Pacquiao, whose last fight was a disappointing decision defeat to Floyd Mayweather. Although the first knockdown in the seventh seemed suspect, the second one in the ninth canto was legitimate. Pacquiao sent Bradley, 32, down with a huge left to the kisser after landing a solid left moments earlier. Bradley’s trip to the deck was comical as he fell on the seat of his pants before turning upside down, the majority of the crowd of 14,655 erupting in cheers. As the audience eagerly expected a stoppage, Pacquiao could not put Bradley away although the Filipino icon said he had Bradley in trouble in the final seconds of the 12th and final round. READ MORE...

ALSO: Pacquiao bows out from boxing in glory


APRIL 11 -Manny Pacquiao celebrates his unanimous decision victory over Timothy Bradley Jr. after their welterweight fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena Saturday, April 9, 2016. Mikayla Whitmore/Las Vegas Sun via AP
LAS VEGAS – Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao dished out snatches of his glorious past to bring back the old chant of “Manny, Manny” among the 14,665 fans at the MGM Grand here as he redeemed himself on the day he bade farewell. Pacquiao fought with the urgency of a young Manny and the grace and ring savvy of the old champion to mow down Timothy Bradley two times en route to a unanimous decision that somehow made up for his dismal performances in his past six fights, including his controversial loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr., last year. Yesterday’s fight (Saturday night in Las Vegas) brought to a memorable close one of the most colorful careers in boxing. It began in the same Las Vegas venue, with Pacquiao’s sensational victory as a whirlwind of a fighter in June 2001, and ended with this emphatic win over the American who inflicted one of his three grave losses in his last six fights. When the final bell sounded, it was clear who the winner was. All three judges had it 116-110 for Pacquiao. “From the Philippines!” blurted the ring announcer, triggering wild cheers from the crowd. Pacquiao, who was astride somebody’s shoulders, raised his hands, blew a kiss to the crowd and bowed his head, hands clasped in prayer. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

PACMAN-BRADLEY III Pacquiao prepares for Vegas farewell


Manny Pacquiao will climb into a boxing ring for what could be the last time here on Saturday with the Filipino icon aiming to deliver an explosive finale to his glittering 21-year career against American rival Tim Bradley.

LAS VEGAS, APRIL 11, 2016 (GMA NEWS) Published April 10, 2016 4:27am LAS VEGAS, United States - Manny Pacquiao will climb into a boxing ring for what could be the last time here on Saturday with the Filipino icon aiming to deliver an explosive finale to his glittering 21-year career against American rival Tim Bradley.

Eleven months after being outpointed by Floyd Mayweather in the "Fight of the Century", Pacquiao has vowed to hang up his gloves to pursue a career in politics after Saturday's welterweight bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Pacquiao has said that he is treating his third meeting with Bradley as his farewell fight before returning to the Philippines to seek a seat in the country's Senate next month, which could tee up a future tilt at the presidency.

"I'm sad because this is my last fight," Pacquiao said shortly after Friday's weigh-in, where he tipped the scales at 145.5 pounds before a cheering crowd of several thousand fans.

"I want to make a good fight and make the people happy. We did everything in this training camp to win convincingly."

The 37-year-old eight division world champion has, however, refused to definitively rule out the possibility of prolonging a boxing career that has earned him around $500 million over the course of 65 often bruising battles.

‘Tough to give up’

"I cannot say that I'm not going to come back," Pacquiao said this week, explaining that his mindset may change once he retires. "I don't know how I'll feel when I hang up my gloves."

Those closest to Pacquiao, including his long-time trainer Freddie Roach and the veteran promoter Bob Arum, believe he may yet return.

READ MORE...

Arum suspects Pacquiao may be persuaded to prolong his career if he scores a spectacular victory over Bradley, who took the Filipino to 12 rounds in each of their previous two contests.

"I think if he wins this fight well, he's going to find a way to continue," Arum said.

"If you've been doing something and doing something well since you were seven or eight years old it's a tough thing to give up."

Roach, who has been in Pacquiao's corner ever since the Filipino arrived at his Hollywood gym in 2001 looking for a trainer, described their relationship as "15 years of greatness" that he would like to see extended.

"I'm hoping it's not his last fight because I still think he has a lot left in him," Roach said. "There's some interesting fights out there."

‘Bat out of hell’

Pre-fight preparations were overshadowed by controversy in February when the devoutly religious Pacquiao described homosexuals as "worse than animals", remarks that prompted several sponsors to terminate their deals with him while also drawing widespread outrage from gay and lesbian activists.

Pacquiao, who later apologized for causing offense while maintaining his opposition to same-sex marriage, insists the furor did not affect his training.

"There were no distractions," said Pacquiao, who has expressed a desire to sign off in style.

"It's really important for me to win this fight, to win convincingly," Pacquiao said. "It's part of my legacy."

Bradley said he is preparing for an onslaught from Pacquiao when the fight gets under way at around 8.15 pm local time (0315 GMT).

"He's going to come out like a bat out of hell and try to take my head off," Bradley said.

Bradley and veteran trainer Teddy Atlas have been poring over tapes of Pacquiao's defeat to Mayweather last year, and his crushing knockout by Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012 as they concoct a gameplan to beat the Filipino.

But Atlas is under no illusions about the scale of the challenge represented by Pacquiao.

"The combination of speed and power that he has is uncommon," Atlas said. "He's a freak." — Agence France-Presse


MALAYA

FINAL BLOW IN FAREWELL FIGHT April 10, 2016

LAS VEGAS. – Manny Pacquiao defeated Timothy Bradley by unanimous decision in the rubber match between the fighters on Saturday, prevailing in what the Filipino boxing icon has said is the final fight of his career.

Pacquiao, who bounced back from a controversial split-decision defeat to Bradley in 2012 with a decisive win two years later, delivered the final blow in their welterweight clash at the MGM Grand as all three judges scored it 116-110 in his favor.

With the crowd f 14,655 chanting “Manny” at the end, Pacquiao (58-6-2) maintained that he is heading into retirement and continuing his political career in the Philippines.

“As of now, I’m retired. I have a commitment to my family that I’m going to retire after this and we don’t know,” Pacquiao told ringside reporters.

“If you ask me about if I’m coming back, maybe I enjoy by being retired and serving and helping the people.”

The former eight-division champion is looking for a knockout win in next month’s general elections. Opinion polls showed him running 10th in the senatorial race.

After a slow start narrowly controlled by Bradley, the 37-year-old Pacquiao seized the momentum in the middle portion after a furious fifth round.

Pacquiao then caught an off balance Bradley with a right hand to the ear to drop him in the seventh, but the American surprisingly bounced back to hurt Pacquiao during the eighth.

From there Pacquiao wrested back control, highlighted by a right uppercut that dropped Bradley in the ninth.

At the strong urging of his trainer Teddy Atlas, Bradley (33-2-1) continued to hang on in the latter rounds though he appeared to be in trouble at the final bell.

“Every round (I was) looking for a KO but Bradley is a very good boxer,” Pacquiao said of the performance, which may go some way to helping cement his legacy after a disappointing fight against Floyd Mayweather in May last year.

READ MORE...

Mayweather easily won the fight that lacked much action to retire undefeated, though Pacquiao’s support team said afterwards he had suffered a shoulder injury in training beforehand and later needed surgery.

“Bradley is a good boxer. He’s a champion. He’s a man,” Pacquiao said. “It was not easy tonight.

“Every round I was looking for a knockout, but he’s a very tough fighter and good counterpuncher.”

“Manny was strong the entire fight and he was also very patient,” Bradley said. “I wasn’t professional enough to stay patient myself and I walked into shots.”

Compubox statistics showed that Pacquiao connected on 122 of his 439 punches while Bradley landed 99 of 302 punches.

The Filipino ring icon earned a guaranteed $20 million while Bradley, who suffered his second defeat to Pacquiao, reportedly got $4 million. In their first meeting in 2012, Bradley won a disputed split decision but Pacquiao posted a convincing unanimous decision win in 2014.

Back home, Filipinos in cinemas, parks and army bases across the country burst into applause and shouts as they watched Pacquiao floor Bradley for the World Boxing Organization international welterweight crown.

“We are truly happy because our prayers that Manny will win were answered,” James Morena, a 67 year-old retiree, told Reuters. “His chances of winning in the elections are higher because he regained his credibility and trust of the people.”

“Manny Pacquiao has done the Filipino nation proud again by winning decisively against Timothy Bradley,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma said in a statement.

He did not say if President Aquino watched the fight.

For Pacquiao, the welterweight showdown with Bradley was very important for his political career and boxing legacy as fans abroad and at home are showing reduced interest in the fight.

“It is very important to get the win for my country and the people in the Philippines, but the most important thing is a win for my country and a win for my legacy in boxing,” he said before the fight, acknowledging that a victory would help him in the election.

In February, Pacquiao was at the center of a controversy over a remark he made in an interview on Philippine TV. When he was asked his view on same-sex marriage, he said gays are “worse than animals.”

He later apologized on Twitter after the LGBT community worldwide reacted on his comments.

He lost a Nike sponsorship over the controversy and his retinue fended off a potential assault attempt outside a Los Angeles restaurant from someone enraged by his remark. – Reuters


MALAYA

SAY IT AIN’T SO, MANNY April 10, 2016

MANNY Pacquiao yesterday proved that he still has what it takes but stood by his decision to retire after beating Timothy Bradley by unanimous decision at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

“Physically, if you ask me, I’m still okay. I can still fight. But I made my decision to return to the Philippines and help the people, spend more time with the family,” Pacquiao said in a post-fight interview.

Pacquiao is gunning for one of the 12 senatorial slots in the May 9 general elections and poll surveys show is he running No. 10.

Bob Arum, his long-time promoter, reflected on Pacquiao’s career while looking ahead to the future without him.

“It’s been great. He’s a great person. I understand, a chapter closes but another chapter opens. Manny Pacquiao will probably pass from the boxing scene now, go on to a political career,” Arum said.

“But hey, the old man got three young Hispanics ready to come and take center stage.”

Fighting for the first time since losing by unanimous decision to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in May last year, Pacquiao knocked Bradley down in the seventh and ninth rounds on the way to a 116-110, 116-110, 116-110 decision.

“Like I said, this was different from the last two fights because I was looking for a knockdown every round. But he stopped, you know. My opponent stopped boxing so he survived 12 rounds. But I did my best,” he said. “His style is counterpunching so I’m not careless in the ring.”

READ MORE...

Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach also expressed his support for Pacquiao’s decision to retire, saying: “We’ve had a great 15 years together. If he retires I’ll be happy for him. That’s kinda up to him.

“If he retires and spends more time with his family. I’ll be 100 percent behind him.”

But he added that he would still like to see his best student slug it out inside the ring.

“He’s throwing vicious punches now, you can hear them land. He’s starting to bring back the old Manny Pacquiao,” he said. “I would like to see him fight again, yes.”

Roach said Pacquiao, 37, remains in top physical condition, especially after a vintage performance against Bradley. He aggressively went for a knockout during the fight.


MANILA BULLETIN

Pacquiao beats Bradley, quits boxing ‘Yes, I am retired’ – Manny by Nick Giongco April 11, 2016 Share0 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share13


GOODBYE, BOXING. HELLO, SENATE – Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao (left) throws a right jab to set up his patented left straight that floored American Timothy Bradley towards the end of the seventh round of their 12-round welterweight encounter yesterday at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas, Nevada. (AP)

Las Vegas, Nevada — Manny Pacquiao did Saturday night (yesterday in Manila) what he could not in their previous bouts, flooring American rival Timothy Bradley twice on his way to a masterful 12-round unanimous decision in their welterweight war at the MGM Grand, here.

As retirement beckons for the 37-year-old Pacquiao, holder of an unprecedented eight world titles in as many weight classes, the Filipino put on a show of force against Bradley, scoring knockdowns in rounds seven and nine.

The three judges, Burt Clements and Dave Moretti, both from Las Vegas and Steve Weisfeld of New York, all agreed in scoring 116-110 for Pacquiao, whose last fight was a disappointing decision defeat to Floyd Mayweather.

Although the first knockdown in the seventh seemed suspect, the second one in the ninth canto was legitimate.

Pacquiao sent Bradley, 32, down with a huge left to the kisser after landing a solid left moments earlier.

Bradley’s trip to the deck was comical as he fell on the seat of his pants before turning upside down, the majority of the crowd of 14,655 erupting in cheers.

As the audience eagerly expected a stoppage, Pacquiao could not put Bradley away although the Filipino icon said he had Bradley in trouble in the final seconds of the 12th and final round.

READ MORE...

“He was hurt and if there was enough time, I could have probably finished him off,” said Pacquiao inside his dressing room, where personnel from the Nevada Athletic Commission took urine and blood samples from him.

DECIDED ON RETIREMENT

Getting ready to attend the post-fight press conference, all the talk inside Pacquiao’s dressing room swirled around his victory and his retirement.

“Yes, I am retired and I am not sure if I will return to the ring again,” Pacquiao told a Mexican TV interviewer.

The reporter wasn’t satisfied and simply wanted more, asking him about the possibility of a megabuck rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr., with whom he figured in the richest fight in the history of the game last year.

But Pacquiao wouldn’t budge, politely telling the reporter that this third fight with Bradley would likely be his last as he is concentrating on his impending role as a senator if he wins next month.

“As I have said, I don’t know the feeling of being retired so I don’t know,” said Pacquiao, who is said to be a sure winner during the May 2016 elections owing to his high survey rating.

Following the win, an emphatic one compared to the last in 2014, Pacquiao is expected to improve on his sixth to seventh place in the survey.

Politics, especially his entry into the Senate excites him so much that when the media who were given access to him in the dugout kept on asking him about his boxing plans, he had everyone laughing with his curt reply.

“Let’s not talk about boxing now,” he said, smiling.

Pacquiao had announced his plans to call it quits about three month ago and he kept on repeating it, sounding like a broken record when he did a whirlwind promotional tour in the US last January.

Nobody’s taking him seriously especially those in the boxing business, but Pacquiao insists that if he begins enjoying his new life, he’ll have no choice but to stay retired.

Besides, Pacquiao doesn’t need the money anymore, being one of the richest athletes today.

Another thing that could prevent him from coming back is his family, notably his wife Jinkee, who is pleading for him to stop.

“Tama na ‘yan (That’s enough),” said Jinkee.

BRADLEY: NO COMPLAINTS

Bradley, who actually fought well in the early rounds with excellent lateral movement and a piston-like jab, didn’t complain about the way the judges scored their third fight.

“Manny was very strong the entire fight and he was also very patient,” said Bradley, who won the first fight in 2012 on spotty scoring but dropped the rematch in 2014 on a clear-cut Pacquiao decision win.

Bradley blamed his eagerness to go toe-to-toe with Pacquiao, who welcomed the idea of a slugfest.

“I wasn’t professional enough to stay patient and I walked into his shots,” added Bradley.

Compubox (punch stats) showed Pacquiao landing 122 of 439 blows. Bradley could only hit 99 of 302.

In the power punches department, Pacquiao connected 92 of 201, while Bradley landed 87 of 218.

Still, Pacquiao gave credit Bradley for his gallant stand, praising him for his toughness.

“He was very tough and a very good counter-puncher,” added Pacquiao, who made his US debut 15 years ago and has now fought on American soil for the 26th time.

Pacquiao, who boosted his record to 58-6-2 with 38 KOs, weighed 145.5 lbs, while Bradley, who dropped to 33-2-1 with 13 KOs, came in at 146.5.

Pacquiao was guaranteed $20 million and Bradley about $5 million.

PALACE: NATION PROUD

Malacañang has congratulated Pacquiao on his decisive victory, saying it was a remarkable feat to cap his legendary career.

“Manny Pacquiao has done the Filipino nation proud again by winning decisively against Timothy Bradley,” Presidential Communications Operations Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said.

Coloma said they also applaud and thank Pacquiao “for demonstrating anew that the Filipino has the courage and skill to compete in the global arena.”

Asked if Pacquiao’s victory was a good way to retire from boxing, Coloma said: “Every champion wants to finish with a flourish. A victory provides an exclamation mark to a glorious career.”

Coloma said he has no information if President Aquino watched the Pacquiao-Bradley fight or if had called the boxer to personally congratulate him.

HOUSE LAUDS MANNY

Pacquiao’s colleagues in the House of Representatives extended warm felicitations to him for bringing honor to the country.

Speaker Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte Jr. and House Majority Leader and Mandaluyong City Rep. Neptali “Boyet” Gonzales II said Pacquiao’s victory will further inspire Filipinos to excel and persevere.

“Pacquiao has solidified his legend as our country’s greatest boxing icon. Yet, it is his humility and generosity which make him larger than life to our people,” Belmonte said.

“His another victory will further inspire Filipinos to persevere in life. That’s would make us very proud of our race. Congratulations to him,” Gonzales, for his part said.

House Independent Bloc leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez said the world boxing champion “proved that with solid determination and hard work, the Filipino can triumph over anybody or anything anytime.”

WIN COMFORTS AFP

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) also hailed Pacquiao’s victory, saying it “was a most welcome news, a consolation and a source of comfort for many of our battle-hardened warriors.”

Pacquiao’s win comes one day after the Basilan encounter with the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) which resulted in the killing of 18 soldiers and the wounding of 53 other troopers.

“We were in Mindanao when Ltc. Manny Pacquiao’s victory was passed on to us. It was a most welcome news, a consolation and a source of comfort for many of our battle-hardened warriors,” said AFP spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla.

EMPTY SEATS

In Bataan, it was peculiarly a small crowd for a free viewing of the Pacquiao-Bradley fight.

Usually, the huge Bataan Sports Complex is filled to the hilt whenever Pacquiao’s fights are shown, but yesterday most of the seats were empty.

Organizers said it could be the consequence of news that the Commission on Election (Comelec) was poised to disallow the airing of the fight in view of complaints from politicians that it would give undue advantage to the fighting congressman who is running for a Senate seat.

CRITICS APPLAUD

Other senatorial hopefuls, including Pacquiao critic former Rep. Walden Bello, rooted for him to win his final fight before hanging his gloves.

Bello, who criticized the Sarangani lawmaker for pushing with his Bradley match, was equally ecstatic as most Filipinos for Pacquiao’s latest boxing conquest.

House senior deputy minority leader Neri Colmenares and independent senatorial bet Larry Gadon lauded Pacquiao’s victory, saying that he is still good for another fight as shown on the way he demolished Bradley with a convincing unanimous decision.

“His final fight should be with Floyd Mayweather Jr. or someone of that caliber.Manny entered the boxing world in a blaze of glory and should exit it in the same way.I don’t believe Bradley is the glorious end for such an illustrious career,” said Colmenares, a senatorial candidate of the Partido Galing at Puso under the tandem of Senators Grace Poe and Francis Escudero. (With reports from Genalyn D. Kabiling, Charissa M. Luci, Elena L. Aben, Mar T. Supnad, and Ben R. Rosario)


PHILSTAR

Pacquiao bows out in glory By Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) | Updated April 11, 2016 - 12:00am 1 0 googleplus1 0


Manny Pacquiao celebrates his unanimous decision victory over Timothy Bradley Jr. after their welterweight fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena Saturday, April 9, 2016. Mikayla Whitmore/Las Vegas Sun via AP

LAS VEGAS – Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao dished out snatches of his glorious past to bring back the old chant of “Manny, Manny” among the 14,665 fans at the MGM Grand here as he redeemed himself on the day he bade farewell.

Pacquiao fought with the urgency of a young Manny and the grace and ring savvy of the old champion to mow down Timothy Bradley two times en route to a unanimous decision that somehow made up for his dismal performances in his past six fights, including his controversial loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr., last year.

Yesterday’s fight (Saturday night in Las Vegas) brought to a memorable close one of the most colorful careers in boxing. It began in the same Las Vegas venue, with Pacquiao’s sensational victory as a whirlwind of a fighter in June 2001, and ended with this emphatic win over the American who inflicted one of his three grave losses in his last six fights.

When the final bell sounded, it was clear who the winner was. All three judges had it 116-110 for Pacquiao.

“From the Philippines!” blurted the ring announcer, triggering wild cheers from the crowd.

Pacquiao, who was astride somebody’s shoulders, raised his hands, blew a kiss to the crowd and bowed his head, hands clasped in prayer.

READ MORE...

Pacquiao, 37, is hanging up his gloves, honoring a commitment to his family that last Saturday’s (Sunday in Manila) welterweight showdown against Bradley would be his last.

The Filipino ring master knocked Bradley down twice during the fight, first in the seventh round, with a punch, and then in the ninth, with a short left to the face.

Pacquiao promised his fans an impressive performance. Despite failing to score a knockout, he looked impressive in completing his trilogy with Bradley, with him having the upper hand, 2-1.

It was a non-title fight, but nobody cared. Not Pacquiao, not his team, not his promoter, not his fans, those who packed the historic arena, and those who watched around the world.

Pacquiao, a two-term Sarangani congressman, is running for senator in the May 9 elections.

“This fight is not about politics. It’s for the honor of or country,” Pacquiao said.

At the center of the ring, amid the mild celebration, Pacquiao was asked if indeed it was his farewell fight.

“I’m retired as of now,” he said. “I just want to go home, be with my family and serve the people. I will go home and think about it (a rematch with Mayweather),” said Pacquiao.

“I love the way Pacquiao threw his combinations tonight. He was a little rusty. But if he wants to continue fighting, I think he can still go,” said Freddie Roach.

The highly decorated trainer said he would support Pacquiao in any decision he makes, whether it’s fighting in the Rio Olympics in August, fighting on, or retiring.

Pacquiao slugged it out with Bradley in the closing seconds of the fight as the 32-year-old American desperately hoped to land the big punch and turn things around.

But Pacquiao was sharp all night. He kept Bradley guessing and out of focus, not knowing whether to stick to their game plan or go toe-to-toe.

After the first three rounds that could have gone either way, the two boxers went at it in the fourth, and threw a couple more punches after the bell sounded.

In the fifth, Bradley got carried away and took some big hits. As he walked back to his corner, he almost cursed himself for losing his patience.

“Manny was very strong and patient. I wasn’t professional enough to be patient myself and I walked into some shots,” said Bradley.

He went down in the seventh after taking a right, then a left near the ropes. But Pacquiao seemed to have pulled his opponent down. Referee Tony Weeks ruled it a knockdown.

A short, crunching left to the face in the ninth round sent Bradley down and tumbling backwards to the ropes.

Bradley was asked just moments after the fight what he thought of the two knockdowns.

“I don’t even remember it, man,” he said, adding that in the first knockdown, he felt that Pacquiao had pulled him down a bit.

The native of Palm Springs, California, had his best moments in the eighth round. For a while, he had Pacquiao covering up against the ropes. It was the only round that he won on all three scorecards.

He said, “We came up short tonight. Manny Pacquiao was strong. He was solid. They came up with a great game plan and I got defeated.”

Bradley’s trainer, Teddy Atlas, offered no excuses.

“You must give Pacquiao the credit. I didn’t do a good enough job,” he said.

The head promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank, was a very happy man after the fight. He said he’s leaving it all up to Pacquiao whether he would retire or continue fighting.

Arum said he has no worries at all.

“Truth is, when I walk out of here tonight, I will only think of one thing: where to get something to eat,” said boxing’s greatest salesman.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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