Manny Pacquiao's thrilling unanimous-decision victory in his quest for redemption against Timothy Bradley in the WBO Welterweight Championship Saturday night in Las Vegas was definitely worth a second—and third—look.
"Pac-Man" unsuccessfully left things up to the judges the last time around against Bradley, and he put himself in that position again Saturday night. Fortunately for him, he had put a pretty convincing 12-round performance on display after being tested throughout what turned into a memorable fight.
Timothy Bradley has lost a fight for the first time in his career. He is now 31-1. pic.twitter.com/Y9xpgmZSgQ— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 13, 2014
If you missed the epic bout that ended with Pacquiao redeeming himself for a controversial split-decision loss in 2012, there are plenty more chances to catch the action, and you won't want to miss what will undoubtedly go down as one of 2014's best fights.
Here's a look at how you can catch the replay of Pacquiao-Bradley II.
|Sat., April 19||11 p.m.||HBO|
After coming out tame in the first round, Pac-Man was the aggressor in Round 2 as he put Bradley up on the ropes a couple of times early. "Desert Storm" battled back into the third round and bloodied up Pacquiao a good bit, but Pacquiao had the clear advantage after three.
But even though Pacquiao seemed to take control of the first fight between these two, Bradley was insistent on making his mark felt early and not falling too far behind.
Bradley started to gain momentum in the middle rounds of the fight as Pac-Man showed signs of injury and being worn down. Desert Storm started to take control.
But Bradley's all-out tactics and selling out for a knockout blow looked to wear him down heading into the seventh, and Pacquiao smelled blood.
A re-energized Pacquiao came out in the seventh round, showcasing the tempo and aggression that he showed in the early rounds and putting Bradley up against the ropes a number of times. Landing his signature flurries of punches and controlling the pace, Pacquiao was breaking Bradley down fast.
Even though Bradley was quickly getting fatigued, he didn't look to save energy. Instead, he came out for each round running and gunning, leaving himself on the ropes for the final minute and Pacquiao showing conviction at the end of nearly every round.
But as the bout dwindled down and looked headed toward a judges' decision, Yahoo! Sports' Dan Wetzel had flashbacks:
I've seen this act before. Bradley 120-108?— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) April 13, 2014
Instead of the scorecards taking most of the headlines this time, though, the announcer started with a 116-112 score and then proceeded to read 118-10.
When "unanimous decision" was announced, it was unquestionable that Pac-Man had reclaimed his championship belt.
Despite struggling at times and allowing Bradley to take a upper hand in the middle rounds, Pacquiao ended redeeming himself and putting the welterweight belt back over his shoulder. He faced a world-champion fighter in his prime, who had just defeated Juan Manuel Marquez—the guy who put Pacquiao down with a knockout punch last year.
The 35-year-old faced plenty of critics. Some said he was spending too much time on his political career. Others claimed he had lost his killer instinct.
But Pacquiao came out on top pretty convincingly in a fight that much of his legacy hinged upon. And that bodes well for him as he looks to close out his career.
After his losses to Bradley and Marquez, Pacquiao's career seemed all but over. The fight that once was inevitable between him and Floyd Mayweather Jr. had died completely, and he was starting to struggle to allure big fighters.
Now, the dynamic changes completely for Pacquiao. Fresh off an impressive victory, he now has a welterweight belt that plenty of world-class fighters covet. Whether Mayweather will take a crack at him or not, Pacquiao has some promising days ahead in the twilight of his career.
Meanwhile, Bradley takes a rough step back in his career. The 30-year-old will have to look for a bounce-back fight in which he can win convincingly and set up for another shot at his recently lost title belt. He's showcased to be an elite fighter, but he's also shown plenty of weaknesses in near-losses and now has finally taken that stumble.