Rematches usually have one of two reasons for being made. Either the first bout was a close fight where either man could be declared the winner or a fight meant to correct a perceived mistake. The rematch between Manny Pacquiao and Tim Bradley fit the latter.
The Filipino superstar got revenge against a largely unpopular decision loss to Bradly (31-1, 12KO) almost two years ago. The scorecards read a 118-110 and 116-110 (twice) to earn Pacquiao (56-6-2, 38KO) a unanimous decision victory.
The fight began even with both men fighting at a fast pace from the beginning. Pacquiao possessed a slight advantage over Bradley in foot speed as he slipped and slide left to right which made Bradley always one step behind as he followed Pacquiao and tried to land his jab and right hand.
Bradley had some success in the middle rounds when he landed some of those haymakers and drove Pacquiao back but the punches did not have the same effect as the punches that Pacquiao threw. When Pacquiao landed, it had a noticeable effect on Bradley. He would clinch and occasionally appear wobbly yet Bradley is not an easy man to knockout.
He survived any bombs Pacquiao threw out but Bradley lost control of the bout during the second half of the fight and Pacquiao used his speed in hands and movement to pick apart Bradley and win rounds.
At the end of twelve rounds, the fight was entertaining but there was a clear winner. Bradley graciously accepted defeat and congratulated the new welterweight titleholder.
For Pacquiao, this redemption victory opens the door for a fifth fight between Juan Manuel Marquez as well as other potential bouts with Mike Alvarado, He-whose-name-is-always-mentioned Floyd Mayweather, and…honestly that seems to be it.
Bradley has unfinished business with newly crowned WBO light welterweight champion Ruslan Provodnikov and he has potential rivals in Kell Brooks, Keith Thurman, and Paulie Malignaggi to name a few. Although he could not decisively beat Pacquiao there is no shame in losing competitively to one of the most accomplished fighters of the past decade.
Maybe this loss will end the nightmare that the win against Pacquiao brought. If that happens, Bradley can call this a victory.