06:40- And with that I will bid you goodnight. For many this will be the sort of fight that makes you despair at the state of the sport and will cry a robbery on the grandest scale. Some will blame Pacquiao for his lazy second half performance and others might suggest this is a measure of justice after the Juan Manuel Marquez debacle last November. What is certain is that there will be a rematch of tonight’s fight and the prospect of Mayweather-Pacquiao may have just disappeared over the horizon. Either way, what a fantastic night for Timothy Bradley. More reaction to come in the hours ahead but until then, goodnight!
‘Tequilla Slammer’ on Boxing Fancast: “Absolute disgraceful decision…how anybody has Desert Fart winning more than 3 rounds is either CORRUPT OFFICIALDOM or incomprehensible ineptitude by a bunch of complete morons!! Are these people aliens or something with no idea of human morals or ethics? Bring these “judges” together on TV to rewatch and rescore the fight so that everybody can see these bare faced liars being exposed for their greed and lacke of spine!!! Makes my blood boil when HBO commentators had the fight 11 rounds to 1 in favour of Manny!!! These morons are killing this “sport” now!!!”
Super-middleweight king Andre Ward on Twitter: “Listen, I love Tim Bradley he’s a friend. This is not his fault. Tim lost the fight, that’s all I can say. #NotGoodForBoxing“
06:30- Attempting to gauge the reaction of fight fans on both sides of the Atlantic and the general consensus is one of amazement. Freddie Roach was right to be worried that Pacquiao allowed Bradley a period of respite after the fifth round and it has ultimately come back to cost him. After the controversy over the Juan Manuel Marquez fight, however, has the former champion got what he deserved?
Paul Walker on Twitter: ”I scored the fight 115-115; it was certainly no robbery, regardless of which way the decision went! #Tight.”
06:12- Very difficult to get my head around this one. Whilst I had the fight close, after watching the way Pacquiao was awarded his fight with Juan Manuel Marquez last year, you had to suggest that the champion would be holding onto his belt but alas the shock has come to pass. For the record, Pacquiao had one scorecard of 115-113 in his favour and the new WBO champion had the other two judges coming down on his side by the same score. Incredible.
Boxing Fancast’s Chudi on Twitter: “Oscar/Felix anyone? Pac lost it for himself.”
06:02- The reaction of both men at the final bell tells volumes. Each fighter appear to know that Pacquiao’s domination of the middle rounds has ruled this decision a formality. Customary prayer from the Filipino in his corner but surely it looks as if he won’t need help from above. Scorecards coming back quickly- none of the cloak and dagger drama of Pacquiao’s fight with Juan Manuel Marquez last year or Amir Khan’s narrow defeat to Lamont Peterson….Split decision……..Bradley has it!
Round 12- Final round of the strangest fight of two halves. It looked, for all the world, that Pacquiao was going to secure a mid-fight stoppage but Timothy Bradley has learnt enough from his super-fast foe to make the second portion of the fight his domain. The big difference between the two, however, has been the speed and concussive power of the Filipino. Will points in the bank be enough to win him the fight? Bradley might just have stolen that final round again with some tidy if not extraordinary work. Draw on my card but I imagine it could look slightly different at ringside in a few minutes… Boxing Fancast scorecard 115-115 draw
Round 11- This is where poor preparation from Pacquiao will be exposed and become increasingly visible in the ring. The first two minutes appear to be sending the fight right back into the mixer, at least on my card, but Pacquiao rediscovers his mid-fight best to stop Bradley in his boots again. Bradley has been better, cleaner and appears to have found the correct range for his work to be effective. Pacquiao’s speed and power, however, has been far more visually effective. Boxing Fancast scorecard: 106-105 Pacquiao
Boxing Fancast’s Chudi on Twitter: “Amir Khan ” I always call these two rounds, rounds 10, 11 & 12, the championship rounds” So much wrong with that lol”
Round 10- Despite the narrowing of the scorecards, Timothy Bradley is not in any real position to claim ownership of this fight. Pacquiao appears to be taking this round off and Bradley is able to compensate with some nice shots and clean work but, in a virtual carbon copy of the last two sessions, he is not able to dominate to guarantee points or make any headway on the stamina of the champion. Boxing Fancast scorecard: 96-95 Pacquiao
Round 9: Timothy Bradley is refusing to weaken but he is not making enough of his current superiority to drag this fight back into the mixer. Every time Pacquiao creates enough room to land, he makes his undefeated foe look messy and clumsy but, despite that, Timothy Bradley well deserves his current foothold in this fight. Boxing Fancast scorecard: 87-85 Pacquiao
Scott Christ on Twitter: “Pacquiao 80-72. This is entertaining, good, high-level boxing. And Manny is better at it, with more tools at his disposal.”
Round 8:The Pacquiao corner seem determined that their man ends the night as soon as possible as not to give Bradley a chance at recovery. There is a slight break as the pair have a clash of heads but referee Robert Byrd takes no action against either man. Bradley is slowly working his way back into this but he is in desperate need of landing some concussive blows if he is to even begin to negate Pacquiao’s speed. Boxing Fancast scorecard: 78-75 Pacquiao
Round 7: If Bradley has even the slightest chance of getting back into this, he needs to make some ground up in this round. Pacquiao is warned for pushing Bradley’s head downwards when in close, however, the biggest impact of the warning is to stem the Filipino’s flow. Bradley does just enough to secure a first round in his account. Much more of the same needed. Boxing Fancast scorecard:69-65 Pacquiao
Danny Flexen on Twitter: ”Bradley did ok for 2 minutes but looks knackered. He can out-manoeuvre Pac but can’t sustain it. 58-56 Manny.”
Round 6: We are moving towards the halfway point of the fight and, mercifully for Timothy Bradley, the first two minutes of this stanza are the quietest of the fight so far. Pacquiao is able just to step up his work and speed through the final 60 seconds of the session to trouble Bradley and all of a sudden the fight is becoming a procession. Boxing Fancast scorecard: 60-55 Pacquiao
Lennox Lewis on Twitter: “Bradley isn’t sitting on any of his punches. He has no chance of hurting PAC this way. PAC is too fast and too strong.”
Round 5: This speed is impressive and is slowly breaking the heart of Timothy Bradley. Every exchange is met with wild cheers from this pro-Pacquiao crowd and if the judges aren’t impressed with the Filipino’s speed, they will surely be influenced by the noise level coming from around the MGM Grand. Bradley looks in trouble again down the final minute of the round but perhaps the American is more messy than hurt. Pacquiao session again. Boxing Fancast scorecard: 50-46 Pacquiao
Round 4: There is a suggestion that Pacquiao really hurt the challenger at the end of the last round and the pattern resumes here in the fourth. Bradley actually edges the first two minutes with some enterprising work but a couple of high-quality combinations from Pacquiao looks to have the American out on his feet. Trouble for the challenger. Boxing Fancast scorecard: 40-37 Pacquiao
Steve Bunce on Twitter: “This is fantastic. Worth every hour of waiting.”
Round 3- The ‘Pac-Man’ may have started this fight strongly but Timothy Bradley is not used to losing fights. The Bradley chin is having to take a fair amount of punishment at this stage, however is looking busy enough to remain competitive. Pacquiao is quick enough to throw single shots at will, however despite stealing another session, Pacquiao is forced to take a big left from Bradley down the stretch. The American needs a big round now to keep in touch. Boxing Fancast scorecard: 30-28 Pacquiao
Round 2- Pacquiao opens the round with another quick combination and looks to have shaken Bradley to his boots. The pair stay locked in close and referee Robert Byrd allows Bradley to hammer away at the rib cage of the champion. Bradley comes back with some more good work on the ropes but the signs at this stage are that Pacquiao’s speed is going to be a defining factor in this fight. Boxing Fancast scorecard: 20-19 Pacquiao
Round 1- Both fighters spring lightly out of the blocks and look to steal an early advantage. Pacquiao, a clear crowd favourite tonight, looks sharp enough to have shaken off a few cobwebs. Bradley, after slipping behind in the opening 90 seconds of the session, appears to have done enough to capture the early ascendancy with a solid right, however Pacquiao lands a decent right of his own to earn a share of the round. Boxing Fancast scorecard: 10-10 level round
05:09- In the end the fight has only been set back by about 15 minutes. Buffer zips through his introductions and both men are ready to go. What impact will all these delays and rumours have on both men? Ding, ding…
05:07- Both men have made their way to the ring and look ready for business. Michael Buffer is doing his thing to open the show. For all the rumours of marital upset and confessions of indulgent lifestyle from Pacquiao, the most surprising news has to be that there will be no post-fight concert from the eight-weight world champion. If that doesn’t say lifestyle change, I don’t know what does…
Former Chelsea and Leeds midfielder Jody Morris on Twitter: ”I’m going for a Bradley win…just got a funny feeling..”
Boxing Fancast’s Chudi on Twitter: ”If Pac catches Bradley he could send him to sleep though, Bradley could kiss a left hand and see Jesus.”
04:52- Elsewhere on the card, farce has been the theme of the night. Jorge Arce and Jesus Rojas saw their fight ruled a no contest in the opening session of their bout after Rojas delivered a low-blow- behind the head combination which was ruled an ‘unintentional foul’ and prevented Arce from being able to continue the opening stanza.
In the other world title fight of the night, 37-year-old Randall Bailey secured his second world strap, and a first for 12 years, with a stunning one punch knockout of previously undefeated Mike Jones. Bailey (43-7) secured the vacant IBF welterweight title and will be the target of many an ambitious promoter after Jones dominated the ten completed rounds before Bailey’s coup de grace. Kell Brook, for one, would love to bring the new champion to Sheffield.
04:48- Timothy Bradley has been ready for war for the best part of half an hour now and, despite the strange delay, he looks like he really wants to get out there and put a show on. What has struck everyone covering this fight week has been just how sure the American has been that he will be come out on top tonight.
BadLeftHook‘s Scott Christ on Twitter: “Manny is headed to his dressing room. Wrapped, not gloved.”
04:40- There are reports coming out of the MGM Grand that Manny Pacquiao has gone AWOL at a time when he should be wrapped and ready for action. Both men should be in the ring shortly before 5am UK time, however this may cause a few minutes delay. While we wait, why not watch a re-run of the weigh in as broadcast on HBO last night. Just how cool does Timothy Bradley look?
04:30- But don’t be fooled into thinking that tonight is all about Manny Pacquiao. Timothy Bradley is a serious threat tonight and whilst the American (28-0) has few of the top-level names that adorn the Pacquiao resume on his own record, the current WBO light-welterweight champion genuinely believes that tonight will be his night.
04:26- While we wait for Pacquiao and Bradley to make their ring walks I can fill you in on a bit of housekeeping. First, I’d like to draw your attention to our fledgling Facebook page. If you pop your thoughts and predictions on there, we can get the night bubbling along nicely. If you’re using Twitter, tweet me or Boxing Fancast directly or use the hashtag #BoxingFancast.
04.25-Good evening and welcome to Manny Pacquiao’s attempt to reassert his name at the top end of the pound for pound boxing tree. To do so, he needs a victory, and an impressive showing over undefeated Timothy Bradley. Tonight, in Las Vegas, Pacquiao will attempt to defend his WBO welterweight title and with it the chance to preserve his hopes of a mega fight with undefeated jailbird Floyd Mayweather.
Are we about to witness the end of an era? Could tonight mark the final episode of ‘Manny-mania’? Well, there are plenty who believe that the 33-year-old Filipino warrior is entering the final furlong of his distinguished career and, after being shown up by Juan Manuel Marquez last November, another insipid performance would be an absolute disaster for the popular face of the sport.