Pacquiao, who turned to religion this year, had won championships in a record eight weight divisions, and appeared to dominate his fight against Bradley, but it was Bradley who was awarded a split decision, handing Pacquiao his first loss since 2005 Saturday night before a capacity crowd at the MGM Grand Garden.
Bradley remained undefeated, improving his recored to 29-0, with 12 KOs. Pacquiao fell to 54-4-2, with 38 KOS.
Nearly everybody on media row, including HBO’s Harold Lederman, scored the bout overwhelmingly for Pacquiao. Lederman had itt 119-109. But the judges at ringside, in a stunning decision, saw it otherwise. And the crowd let them know how they felt, raining boos as HBO’s Max Kellerman tried to talk to the fighters afterwards.
Top Rank Chairman Bob Arum came over to media row and said he had it 10 rounds to 2 for Pacquiao, and said even Bradley’s manager had it 8-3 for Pacquiao.
“We’ll make a lot of money on the rematch, but this is (expletive) nuts. People don’t even know what they’re watching. They’re trying to kill boxing,” the 81-year-old Arum said.
Ringside judges Duane Ford and C.J. Ross score the fight 115-113 for Bradley. Judge Jerry Roth gives it 115-113 to Pacquiao.
Final Punchstat numbers show Pacquiao landed 253 total punches to Bradley’s 159. In power punches, Pacquiao outlands Bradley 190-108.
Pacquiao and Bradley were both gracious after the fight, Pacquiao even saluting the fans and congratulating his opponent. He did, however, respond “absolutely” when asked if he wants a rematch on Nov. 10. Said Bradley, “Let’s do it again.”
Contributing: Pete O’Brien
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