Manny Pacquiao settled his score with Timothy Bradley, earning a unanimous decision over the defending champion. The result has done a lot to the stocks of both boxers.
Pacquiao may be nearing the end of his career, but he still showed he’s one of the top boxers in the sport with the win.
By contrast, Bradley needed a win to prove the previous result over Pacquiao was more than just an error by the judges. His failure to do so will hurt him, but he put on a decent showing that will benefit him moving forward.
The fight might not have ended in a knockout, but as the highlights show, there was still plenty of drama.
Read on to find out how each boxer’s stock is looking after Pacquiao's win.
Even though Bradley lost, he still seems to be well-respected in boxing circles.
Pacquiao was too technically sound for Bradley to handle, and the Filipino made him pay for his aggressiveness at times, yet "Desert Storm" never looked completely outmatched.
Buoying his prospects further is the fact that he suffered an injury to his right calf in the first round that hampered his movement.
Once that happened, his trainer Joel Diaz couldn’t help him. "I didn't have much to work with," he told Yahoo Sports' Kevin Iole.
The fact that he stayed upright for all 12 rounds while essentially on one leg makes Bradley look tough.
He might not have gotten the win, but he likely did enough to make sure his next fight is a good one.
Bradley has publicly challenged Floyd Mayweather before, but a more likely matchup might be against former Pacquiao opponent Brandon Rios or 2013 nemesis Ruslan Provodnikov.
Even with the loss, Bradley’s stock didn’t take too much of a hit. He wanted a win, but the decision won’t derail his career in the slightest.
For Pacquiao, this win affirms that the veteran boxer has plenty left to offer.
He didn’t manage to knock Bradley out, which would have truly established his return to form, but he did provide his best showing in several years.
Bradley hung around for the whole fight, but Pacquiao was clearly the more talented fighter. After all, he landed more power punches than Bradley managed total punches—a 148-141 advantage, per Iole.
Pacquiao needed to beat Bradley to dispel some of the demons that lingered from the 2012 loss. His win in November over Rios didn’t do much to restore his reputation after that defeat, but this rematch victory surely helped.
This win now enables him to explore his options. While one fight is on everyone’s minds, Forbes’ Kurt Badenhausen notes that Pacquiao will likely look elsewhere:
Forget the eternally discussed mega-fight with Floyd Mayweather. The blood feud between Top Rank/HBO and Golden Boy/Showtime/Mayweather is at an all-time high and makes the Hatfields vs. McCoys look quaint. Mayweather and Pacquiao are not crossing party lines to make this happen even it would generate $150 million for the fighters to share.
“I think I can fight for two more years,” said Pacquiao after Saturday’s fight. His most likely opponent is the winner of the May 17 matchup between Juan Manuel Marquez and Mike Alvarado...
Marquez is a significant favorite over Alvarado and a fight against Pacquiao would be the fifth in a series between the two warriors that started in 2004. Pacquiao leads the series 2-1 with their first fight ending in a draw. Pacquiao had a 15-fight winning streak before Bradley defeated him under a cloud of controversy in 2012. Marquez knocked out Pacquiao in December 2012 leading many to question if Pacquiao was nearing the end. Pacquiao avenged his Bradley loss and no doubt would like to do the same with Marquez.
If he can arrange a date with Marquez and then win, Pacquiao will have avenged both of his 2012 losses—a highly desirable accomplishment.
It won’t compare to a Mayweather fight, but many seem to think the window has closed for that matchup.
Overall, this fight wasn’t a huge one, but it did plenty to bolster Pacquiao’s reputation as his career nears its end.
Meanwhile, Bradley remains one of the rising stars in boxing, despite taking his first loss ever.
This bout did have plenty of action, and each fighter's stock remains largely on the rise as a result.
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