GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/10 June) — American Timothy Bradley proved his chin is more than match to Manny Pacquiao’s hardest punches.
And then he shocked everybody by escaping with a controversial decision to dethrone the world’s pound for pound boxing king which many Filipinos, and even the harshest of Pacquiao critics, believed was a highway robbery. Nay, a casino strip stick-up.
Pacquiao dominated Bradley in all but perhaps one or two rounds and couldn’t believe he lost for the fourth time in his career, also his first in seven years. Many said all but two – the two judges who saw Bradley winning by identical 115-113 margins – saw a different fight. One where Pacquiao was the more aggressive and dominant fighter.
Hell, Pacquiao even had all statistics going for him.
Pacquiao threw the most punches, connected with higher precision (34 percent to 19 at 253 as against 159 punches) and landed more power punches by a margin close to 2:1 (190-108). It was evident in the faces of Pacquiao and Bradley who got the worse of the beatings. But still, Pacquiao lost his World Boxing Organization welterweight title to a man who was given a 1-to-7 odd to beat the fighting Filipino congressman.
But sometimes that is how all boxing stories and personal glories are being played in the world stage.
No, Pacquiao did not lose to a better man. He lost to himself by allowing Bradley to escape without being counted out or even knocked down. Pacquiao left it to the judges. This time, the judges were terribly wrong. At least in the eyes of the many who watched the fight live in Las Vegas or those who shelled out their hard earned money for pay per view in the comfort of their (or their neighbor’s) homes.
Pacquiao started strong and showed little effect of his late entrance following a decision to watch the Celtics-Heat knockout game for the right to play in the 2012 NBA Finals.
Did Pacquiao’s deserved prima donna privilege rub off the goats of the judges?
Maybe. But that is not reason enough to take away the victory from Pacquiao.
While Bradley was competitive, he did not prove he deserved the win and for that matter the championship belt.
He never landed any shot that remotely hurt Pacquiao but he was several times stopped on his track with repeated left straights from Manny.
While he fought a tactical battle, preferring to dance and box away in the latter rounds, it was a result of his realization that Pacquiao was too much for his own good than his ring savvy. Several times he engaged Pacquiao in furious exchanges. He ended up getting the worst of them.
No matter how he gloated that Pacquiao was not able to put him down, there is no escaping the fact that he never pulled the miracle of miracles worthy of praises.
He did prove his chin is durable. But beyond that nothing suggests he really beat the man to beat.
Now, we will wait for the rematch. (MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. Edwin Espejo writes for the asiancorrespondent.com)