Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley 2: Examining Fallout from Title Fight

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Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley 2: Examining Fallout from Title Fight
David Becker/Getty Images

Manny Pacquiao defeated Timothy Bradley by unanimous decision on Saturday night in Las Vegas and atoned for his highly controversial loss to the Californian back in 2012.

The Filipino reclaimed the WBO welterweight title in the process and looked very convincing, with all three judges calling it for Pacquiao, 118-110, 116-112 and 116-112, per ESPN.com's Dan Rafael.

With the fight now done and dusted, the speculation has already begun about the next opponents for both fighters as well as chatter as to where this win places Pacquiao in the history books.

Read on for a full examination of the fallout from the fight.

 

Justice for Pac-Man

The first fight between these two finished in a highly controversial split decision that handed Bradley the win despite most viewers feeling that Pacquiao clearly deserved the victory.

On this occasion, the 35-year-old showed the same skill as he had back in June 2012, outworking his highly skilled opponent, but this time he was given his deserved win. 

After Saturday's fight, former world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis tweeted that he felt the right outcome had finally occurred:

Such controversy surrounded the first fight between Bradley and Pacquiao that many felt justice had truly been done on Saturday night when Pacquiao was given the result, an idea echoed by The Wall Street Journal's Gautham Nagesh:

Speaking before the bout, Pacquiao told ESPN.com that he had never considered the first fight to be a loss:

In the first fight against Tim Bradley, I was over it before I returned to the dressing room. To Freddie Roach and me, and apparently everyone else who watched the fight -- except for two [judges] -- I won the fight. The first thing I said to Freddie when we saw each other in the dressing after the fight was, ‘He [Bradley] ran just like we knew he would.’ We never discussed or debated the decision because it was so obvious that I had won the fight and nearly every round. 

But despite this, he must surely now feel vindicated that the history books will record him as beating Bradley, and thus, a wrong was righted on Saturday night. 

 

Bring on Floyd

The predominant buzz after Saturday has been whether the result may spark the long-fancied superfight between Pacquiao and the undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr.

This is a bout which has been mooted for some time but has been plagued by hiccups and controversies, leading some to believe that it will never happen. Certainly that is the view of LaceupBoxing:

However, there's no doubt it is what every boxing fan wants. They are widely considered the two greatest boxers of their generation, and it seems ridiculous that they should not get into a ring together.

And Pacquiao is on for it. As reported by BBC Sport, he said of Mayweather: "The line is open 24 hours, seven days a week. If he wants to fight, the fight will be on."

While Pacquiao's next challenger is expected to be the winner of the fight between Juan Manuel Marquez and Mike Alvarado on May 17, the talk of a matchup with Mayweather will not go away.

Lewis again made his comments known about the potential for the fight, suggesting on Twitter it could be a spectacular way for both to bow out of the sport:

Sky Sports reported that the Filipino believes he has a while left in his career:

If he does not get to take on Mayweather before hanging up the gloves, it will have been a huge missed opportunity for all of boxing.

 

What's next for Bradley?

The 30-year-old went into Saturday's fight full of confidence, with an undefeated record and with many expecting him to come out victorious, including boxing trainer and commentator Teddy Atlas:

But he lost, and he must now pick himself up and work out what his ideal next move is. He still has quality, that is clear, but he needs to prove himself against a legitimate opponent.

The loser of the Marquez-Alvarado fight would be a logical opponent for Bradley, and certainly either one of them would prove to be a strong option.

David Becker/Getty Images

He beat Marquez in late 2013, and if the Mexican is downed by Alvarado, then a rematch would certainly be an exciting prospect.

Another option is the American Brandon Rios. Pacquiao defeated Rios in his last fight before defeating Bradley, and a matchup between the Filipino's two most recent victims would be appropriate.

Whatever happens, Bradley will not disappear. He was well-beaten on Saturday but should still be considered a top fighter.

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