Bradley was eventually able to get back into what allowed him to win the early rounds - jabbing and moving - late in the fight, but his lack of punching power prevented him from mounting any sort of miraculous comeback. The American landed his fair share of power shots down the stretch, but Pac-Man walked right through the attacks and was able to answer everything in short order.
The two clashed heads with about 20 seconds left in the fight and the incidental infraction opened up a gash above Pacquiao’s left eye. After the ringside physician inspected his wound, he was allowed to continue but with 15 seconds in the contest, time was essentially out for Bradley. “Desert Storm” came up short.
“Pacquiao fought a great fight,” Bradley said afterward. “His team, his corner, had a great game plan and they used it perfectly. I take my hat off to Pacquiao. He’s a great fighter and he did what he had to do. He’s a tough fighter.”
In the end, Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KOs) was awarded a unanimous decision via tallies of 116-112 (twice) and 118-110 to snatch back the WBO welterweight title that Bradley wrested from him in 2012. All three virtual Sherdog.com scorers also had it for Pacquiao (Sloan: 115-113, Mike Fridley: 116:112, Gary Randall: 118-111). Bradley, for his efforts, fell for the first time as a pro; he now stands at 31-1 with 12 KOs.
“I’m very happy for the win,” Pacquiao said after the tussle. “I felt good, I felt strong … Bradley is a great opponent but I was the better man tonight.”
Pacquiao didn’t elaborate who he wants to take on next, saying that he leaves those decisions into the hands of Top Rank CEO Bob Arum.