Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley met the night of June 9, 2012, for the first time in the ring. Pacquiao arrived about twenty minutes late while Bradley waited nervously in the waiting area. This act alone did not help Manny with the ring officials and judges. By the end of the fight, the scoring was slightly in Bradley’s favor by winning 115:113 on the Ford and Ross cards and 115-113 on Roth’s card. There were many boos from the crowd after the split decision was announced.
Only the 10th round went solidly in Bradley’s favor by all three judges. Clearly, this was Bradley’s best round. Pacquiao was less aggressive in the last three rounds and this may have cost him the fight. In addition, Bradley threw straight body punches; whereas, Pacquiao threw a number of flurries which may have been difficult for the judges to score uniformly because the positioning of the body changes in unpredictable formations.
Pacquiao threw straight lefts which confused Bradley in the first and second rounds. Bradley didn’t move his head enough in the third round. By the fourth round, Bradley did not have enough fire power to keep Pacquiao off. He traded too much with Pacquiao in the fifth round. This was a mistake because Bradley has a slight power deficit to Pacquiao. By the end of the fifth round, Pacquiao had quite a bit of blood from a cut tongue. By the seventh round, Bradley looked tired and discouraged.
In the ninth round, Pacquiao landed straight lefts. He had a good defense and Bradley’s timing was way off at some points. Pacquiao clearly landed more punches. The tenth round was Bradley’s best round by all accounts. Pacquiao appeared to be less aggressive in the last two rounds, although his straight left hand dominated most of the fight. Overall, Pacquiao landed ninety four more punches than Bradley and amazingly still lost the fight.
In the post-fight interview, Bradley stated that he would have to see the tapes before commenting any further. Pacquiao took the loss with grace, although his family and corner were clearly disappointed. Both fighters were predisposed to having a November rematch.
In any rematch, Pacquiao needs to stay engaged for the entire fight. In addition, he needs to throw more straight jabs instead of wild flurries which could confuse the judges as to how many punches actually landed. Lastly, Pacquiao needs to arrive on time like his opponent did. Bradley needs to do more running and less exercises that emphasize muscle mass. His monster muscles may get in the way of projecting fast punching power in the ring. Overall, the fight was lively and engaging right up to the close of round twelve.