Boxing fans happy that Pacquiao retires a champ

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/10 April) — Filipino boxing fans including those who traveled for five hours to watch the live telecast of world boxing icon Manny Pacquiao’s retirement match were all praises after he defeated American boxer Timothy Bradley Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas (Sunday noon in Manila) for the vacant WBO International welterweight title.

The 37-year old boxing champ, who dominated the second half of the bout after he knocked down Bradley twice, garnered a score of 116-110 on all three judges’ scorecards.

Jun Dumaran, 64, a retired government employee who travelled to the city from Isulan, Sultan Kudarat with wife and son to watch the live airing of the fight at the Abreeza of the Ayala Malls, said Pacquiao’s performance was better this time after putting Bradley down twice.

“His speed was still there,” he said.

He said would support if the Filipino fighter, dubbed as one of the best boxers in history, would retire from his boxing and go on with his political career.

Coming off the 7th round’s knockdown, Bradley, 32, got back up and threw powerful punches a few moments before the end of 8th round where Pacquiao could hardly deliver powerful blows.

The American fighter opened the 9th round with strong punches but Pacquiao countered by landing a powerful punch with his strong left arm that put Bradley down.

In a post-fight interview, Pacquiao said he was expecting to end the battle in earlier rounds but he could not seem to pull off a powerful punch to knockout Bradley, as he acknowledged his opponent put up a good fight being a tough fighter himself.

“He survived 12 rounds, but you know, I did my best… I was not careless in the ring,” he said.

Pacquiao ended his boxing career with 58 fights, six losses, two draws, and 38 knockouts while Bradley’s 33 fights, one draw, 13 knockouts, and two losses.

Bradley won over Pacquiao in a split decision in 2012 but the latter won also via unanimous decision in a rematch last 2014.

“He was different than the last two fights we had,” he spoke of Bradley.

The Filipino boxer, who is gunning for a seat in Senate, said he is still physically strong to fight but he “made the decision to go back to the Philippines and help more people and spend time with my family.”

Pacquiiao emerged on the ring wearing a blue shirt with a statement at the back,” Jesus is the name of the Lord.”

After his defeat, Bradley congratulated Pacquiao and vowed to return to the ring.

“I don’t how I got hit, I can barely remember the fight. I did my best out there, it’s all that you can do sometimes,” he said.

“He was good, great fighter. My gameplan was to do my best tonight, but he was faster, quicker, he did everything right,” he said of Pacquiao.

Honey Baraguir, 41, of Koronadal City, who also travelled with his family for some four to watch the match, said even before the fight started, he had expected Pacquiao would win. But he noticed the speed of the People’s Champ was a bit slower this time.

He said it was a clear win for Pacquiao when Bradley knocked down for the first time in the 7th round and for the second time in the 8th.

He added that it was a good retirement for Pacquiao, as he basks in victory. He does not wish for Pacquiao to fight another battle in the ring. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)