Manny Pacquiao: Loss to Bradley Won't Tarnish His Career

Alex HallCorrespondent IIIJune 10, 2012

LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 09:  (L-R) Timothy Bradley and Manny Pacquiao exchange punches 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

Manny Pacquiao is easily the best boxer competing today, and his illustrious career cannot be tarnished by a controversial split-decision loss to undefeated Timothy Bradley.

The legendary southpaw put together yet another stellar outing against one of the most qualified opponents he's faced in recent memory, with many testifying that Pac-Man was the real victor of the bout.

The Telegraph's Gareth A. Davies spoke with some boxing veterans about Manny's surprising loss. Former heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis told the reporter the decision was "another stain on boxing," while Amir Khan described the outcome as "robbery."

Retired boxing star and former Pac-Man opponent Oscar De La Hoya told the Vancouver Sun, "Bradley should have given the belt and announce victory to [Pacquiao] right after the decision."

The Filipino sensation has remarked recently to Boxing Channel that his family would like him to retire sooner rather than later, and that's a likely scenario considering his out-of-the-ring ventures and duties.

If that is the case, and Pac-Man does decide to hang up the gloves after his rematch with Bradley, the most recent memory in his career will be the controversial loss on June 9—but it won't define it.

Over his 17 years as a professional boxer, Pacquiao's win column reads as a "whose who" of the most important fighters in the past decade or so.

Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosley, De La Hoya and "Hitman" Ricky Hatton are just a few of the huge names that have suffered a loss to Pac-Man.

Win or lose in the rematch against Bradley, people are going to remember the decision from the first bout if Pacquiao retires come November. Eventually, though, people will forget about that one match and his career will be celebrated appropriately.

Pac-Man and his rival Floyd Mayweather have been atop the boxing world for a great deal of time now, with both proving to be two of the most dominant fighters in history.

The legacy that the 33-year-old former welterweight champion has created over almost 20 years in the sport cannot be downplayed or diminished due to a bad scoring card on one odd night in June of 2012.