Bradley Defeats Pacquiao: Why Mayweather Clash Still Matters Most

Jonathan SnowdenCombat Sports Senior WriterJune 10, 2012

LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 09:  (R-L) Manny Pacquiao lands a right to the head of Timothy Bradley during their WBO welterweight title fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena on June 9, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

I had an article all ready to go. Manny Pacquiao was so far ahead in my mind that I went ahead and wrote a piece, all about how the only fight that really matters is Manny and Floyd Mayweather Jr. Pacquiao was so dominant, landing his lightning quick left hand whenever he wanted. A win seemed in the bag. Cockily, I started writing in the ninth round.

That would prove to be a mistake.

The fight went the distance. Pacquiao seemed comfortably in control. And then, amazingly, the cards were read. 115-113, 115-113, 113-115. For the winner and new champion, Timothy Bradley.

Ringside, HBO's commentators were speechless. They had the bout 11 rounds to one for Pacquiao. Combine his dominance with the money he draws for everyone in the sport and Manny seemed like a sure thing. Never underestimate the stupidity of Nevada's judges.

No one looked as surprised as Timothy Bradley. He told HBO's Max Kellerman that he would have to go back to look at the tape and see if he won the fight. Hardly a ringing endorsement for a decision when even the recipient of your decision seems flustered and unsure.

"I'm not satisfied. Everybody in the crowd thinks I lost the fight," Bradley said. "Let's do it again."

Boxing fans are resilient. When a judge decides a sporting event, rather than an athlete, strange things can happen. In our minds, we know that Pacquiao won this fight. We know that the only fight that matters isn't a rematch of Pacquiao and Bradley. It's still Pacquiao-Mayweather.

Bradley is an excellent fighter. But we knew, in our hearts, he was no match for Manny, scorecards be damned. Bradley, even with this win, won't make us question Manny. There is one man who can make us doubt. His name is Floyd.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. may be in jail, but his presence was felt in MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas. It's still the only fight that matters for either man. They are the two best fighters of their generation. The world demands to know who the better man is. Anything else is just killing time.