Manny Pacquiao 'retiring' after win over Bradley


Manny Pacquiao crowned his 21-year professional career with an emphatic victory over Tim Bradley here Saturday, delivering a vintage performance before saying a farewell to boxing.

Pacquiao - fighting for the first time since his defeat to Floyd Mayweather last May in the 'Fight of the Century' - knocked down Bradley twice on his way to a unanimous decision.

The judges' scorecards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena told the story of Pacquiao's dominance in the non-title welterweight duel, with the 37-year-old eight-division world champion winning by identical margins of 116-110 on all three cards.

Pacquiao had insisted Saturday's bout - the 66th of his career - will be his final fight before he focuses on his political career in the Philippines, where he is seeking election to the Senate next month.

Many ring-watchers, however, are sceptical, believing he may well be tempted to extend a career which has seen him earn more than $500 million.

Yet asked afterwards if he planned to stay retired, Pacquiao replied: "I think so. I've made a commitment to my family that I'm going to retire after this.

"Maybe I enjoy being a retired man, serving the people, helping the people," added, before giving a farewell message to his fans.

"Thank you to all the fans in boxing, especially the Filipino people. I've really appreciated all your help and support."

Pacquiao had promised an explosive performance and was as good as his word for long periods, uncorking some trademark combinations to overwhelm Bradley.

"Bradley is a good boxer, he's a champion, he's a man. It was not easy tonight," Pacquiao said, shortly before a warm embrace in the ring which concluded with the two fighters arranging to meet for breakfast on Sunday.

Bradley meanwhile paid tribute to his opponent.

"I fought really good tonight but I don't know what was going on," Bradley said.

"He always seemed to be in the right spot. He was a step ahead of me when I was supposed to be a step ahead of him.

"He used his experience against me, his ability and he won the fight tonight...I'm in there with a special man, Manny Pacquiao."

A cagey opening round had the feel of a tactical battle, with Bradley carefully keeping his distance as he circled the marginally more aggressive Pacquiao, who threw 33 punches to Bradley's 19.

The next three rounds followed a similar pattern, with Pacquiao looking the more menacing fighter, relentlessly stalking Bradley around the canvas, cutting off angles, and connecting with more meaningful blows.

Bradley landed occasionally but it was Pacquiao who did the most damage, landing a straight left that caught his American rival flush on the chin in the second round.

Bradley started confidently in the fifth round but again his good work was undone by Pacquiao in the final minute when the Filipino uncorked a series of combinations to score heavily.

A weary Bradley returned to his corner to be admonished by his trainer Teddy Atlas, who yelled "Are you kidding me?" at the 32-year-old as he attempted to raise his fighter for the later rounds.

But the template had been set for the next round, with Pacquiao producing flurries of counter-punching to take the round.

In the seventh, Pacquiao stretched his lead further, scoring a knockdown with a right hook to the chin that sent Bradley falling to the canvas.

Bradley responded bravely in the eighth however, wobbling Pacquiao with a left hook and backing up the Filipino relentlessly.

Yet Pacquiao's response in the ninth was emphatic, luring in Bradley and then tagging him with a left hook to wobble the American.

A further left hook sent Bradley down for the second time leaving Pacquiao with a commanding lead heading into the final three rounds.

Bradley attempted to pressure Pacquiao but the Filipino finished the stronger to coast home.

Rubber match

Manny Pacquiao defeated Timothy Bradley by unanimous decision in the rubber match between the fighters on Saturday, prevailing in what the Filipino 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 in Las Vegas as all three judges scored it 116-110 in his favour.

With fans chanting 'Manny' at the conclusion, Pacquiao (58-6-2) maintained that he is heading into retirement and continuing his political career in the Philippines.

"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."

After a slow start narrowly controlled by Bradley, the 37-year-old Pacquiao seized the momentum in the middle portion following 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 in for the latter rounds though he appeared 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 last May.

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.

Last fight

Pacquiao confirmed that this would be his last fight despite being physically fit.

When asked during a ringside interview whether he would be retiring he said "Yes"

"I'm physically still ok... I can still fight," he said.

He called Bradley a "tough opponent" though knocking down in round seven and nine for the first time in 36 rounds of boxing with the American.

"I did my best. I had to withstand his counter punch. Did not want to get careless in the ring," said Pacquiao fought smart without engaging in a slug fest.

Asked what he did different from the last two fights against Bradley which was split, Pacquiao said: "I counter punched with upper cut and straight right."

Bradley paid tribute to the Filipino boxing legend describing him as a "great fighter".

"I did my best out there. He fought great, strong and explosive. He was great. He did everything right. He was on form tonight," said Bradley.

Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said Pacquiao looked better than ever before.

"Bradley was very courageous. Manny was better than he has been in the first two fights. It was a terrific fight with lots of action and the fans loved it," said Arum.

Unanimous decision

Manny Pacquiao is winner by a unanimous decision with all three judges scoring 116-110 to become the WBO International Welterweight champion.

Round 12: The final three minutes of Pacquiao's career. Manny complains to referee after getting a low blow in an otherwise clean fight. Pacquiao wants to put on a show. Bradley tries to spoil it and gets into a clinch. Pacquiao is looking for a knockout blow. Bradley is desperate while Pacquiao is dancing along the ropes. Bradley gets entangled in the ropes and Manny finishes in style.

Emirates 24|7 scores 10-9 to Pacquiao

Round 11: Bradley is trying to keep Manny at bay with left jabs. Pacquiao is stalking his rival fully in control of the right from the centre of the ring. Bradley gets in a right but Manny counters with a fast right.

Emirates 24|7 scores 10-9 to Bradley

Round 10: Bradley needs to win by a knockout after being down twice but Pacquiao is in command  scoring with right leads. Bradley misses with a wild overhand left and swings a right to the body. Pacquiao is not making the mistake of going for the kill fighting smartly looking for an opening and finishes strongly.

Emirates 24|7 scores 10-9 to Pacquiao

Round 9: Bradley is coming out firing as Pacquiao back peddles. Both fighters are engaged in a slug fest. Manny is landing counter punches and Bradley is knocked down for the second time with a sharp left hook virtually walking into the punch.

Emirates 24|7 scores 10-8 to Pacquiao

Round 8: Bradley comes bouncing back showing no effects of the knock down sneaking in a right lead and firing away combinations. Bradley is scoring with overhand rights. Bradley has Pacquiao on the ropes with a barrage of punches. Best round for Bradley.

Emirates 24|7 scores 10-9

Round 7: Bradley is once again leading off while Pacquiao is content to counter. Bradley lands counter punches frustrating Pacquiao by dancing around. Manny is looking to land heavy blows but Bradley is proving to be elusive in this round. Bradley is knocked down for a count with a short left hook.

Emirates 24|7 scores 10-8 to Pacquiao

Round 6: Bradley comes out swinging as Manny stretches his shoulder. Bradley is leading off circling around and landing a right. Manny turns it on with a flurry of blows as Bradley goes on the defensive.

Emirates 24|7 scores 10-9 to Pacquiao

Round 5: Bradley has Manny on the ropes opening with a right. Pacquiao turns aggressor slgging it out with Bradley and forcing the pace. Bradley is countering with upper cuts. Manny catches Bradley with powerful lefts.

Emirates 24|7 scores 10-9 to Pacquiao

Round 4: Bradley lunges forward to land right hands while Manny counters with short punches. Pacquiao is in control from the centre of the ring as he turns up the heat with combinations. Manny is leading the fight dictating the pace leading with his right and landing heavy blows with his power hand before Bradley sneaks in a right.

Emirates 24|7 scores 10-9 to Pacquiao

Round 3: Manny lands an overhand left while Bradley misses. Bradley looking to land heavy blows and connects with a right. Manny is stalking Bradley who is circling around. Manny ducks lows to avoid an attack from Bradley as they trade blows at the end.

Emirates 24|7 scores 10-9 to Pacquiao

Round 2: Manny lands a left as Bradley keeps his distance catching his rival with a hook after a clinch. Bradley lands some good body blows. Manny finishes strongly.

Emirates 24|7 scores 10-9 to Manny

Round 1: Both fighters are cagey in the opening minute. There are chants of Manny who misses a left after Bradely scored with a right lead. Bradley catches Manny with a body blow.

Emirates 24|7 scores 10-10

There is a deafening roar as Manny Pacquiao, a 10-time world champion in eight divisions is introduced.

Introducing Bradley in the blue corner from Palm Springs, California, a five-time world champion called 'Desert Storm'.

The judges and referee Tony Weeks are being introduced for the Main Event of the night.

Pacquiao is all smiles as he trots his way into the ring for possibly the last time in his professional career.

Bradley has made a quiet entrance into the ring looking very serious and tense.

The national anthems of Philippines and USA have been sung.

Gilberto Ramirez (34-0, 24KOs) made history by becoming the first Mexican fighter to win the world super middle weight title winning a unanimous 12-round decision over Arthur Abraham (44-5, 29KOs) with all three judges scoring 120-1-8.

Pacquiao is shadow boxing while Bradley is sparring with his trainer after their hands are taped inside the dressing room.

Oscar Valdez (19-0, 17KOs) won the WBO NABO featherweight title with a fourth round TKO of former IBF world champion Evgeny Gradovich (21-2-1, 9KOs).

In the first bout on the undercard of Pacquiao's farewell fight, WBC Continental Americas junior welterweight champion Jose Ramirez (16-0, 12KOs) won a unanimous 10-round decision over Manuel Perez (25-12-1, 6KOs) with judges scoring 97-93, 98-92 and 99-91. 

Manny Pacquiao promises to deliver an action-packed finale to his 21-year boxing career as he prepared to climb into the ring for the last time.

The 37-year-old Filipino boxing superstar takes on long-time rival Tim Bradley in Las Vegas on Saturday in what he says will be his final fight before retiring.

Pacquiao and Bradley squared up to each other before a raucous crowd of a few thousand fans at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Friday for the weigh-in, with both men well within the 147-pound limit.

Pacquiao tipped the scales at 145.5 pounds, half a pound heavier than his weight for his last outing 11 months ago, his money-spinning mega-fight against Floyd Mayweather.

Bradley, 33-1-1, was a pound heavier at 146.5.

Pacquiao, 57-6-2, has made no secret of his desire to crown his career with an explosive display against Bradley, who has taken him the distance twice before.

“Expect more action that the last fights we had,” said Pacquiao, who plans to concentrate on a political career in the Philippines when he retires.

Bradley meanwhile, who beat Pacquiao via a deeply controversial split decision in 2012 before losing the rematch, looked in formidable shape as he stripped down for the cameras.

The 32-year-old from California shrugged off catcalls from the largely pro-Pacquiao crowd, telling the audience: “I think there’s going to be a lot of disappointed fans tomorrow night.”