LAS VEGAS — Nearly two years later, Manny Pacquiao finally got the decision most people thought he deserved the first time against Timothy Bradley.
Pacquiao won a unanimous decision in his rematch with Bradley on Saturday night, avenging his 2012 loss and claiming the WBO welterweight title.
Pacquiao (56-5-2) pursued and peppered the previously unbeaten Bradley around the MGM Grand Garden ring with an aggressive effort occasionally recalling the Pacman in his prime. Bradley fought back with counterpunching and elusiveness, but Pacquiao kept up his attack while Bradley (31-1) struggled down the stretch.
In the same arena where the fighters met for their first bout, Pacquiao left little doubt about the result — although that's what he thought last time, too. Bradley's split-decision victory astonished most ringside observers, who felt Pacquiao had earned a clear decision.
"I knew I had to do more in this fight than I did in the last fight," Pacquiao said.
Judges Craig Metcalfe and Michael Pernick scored the rematch 116-112 for Pacquiao, while Glenn Trowbridge favored the Filipino congressman 118-110. The Associated Press scored it 116-112 for Pacquiao.
After the fight, Bradley said he injured his right calf early on. But he also applauded the decision when it was announced, and he congratulated Pacquiao in the ring.
"I tried, I really tried," Bradley said. "I wanted that knockout. Manny is a great fighter, one of the best in the world. I lost to one of the greatest fighters in boxing. I kept trying to throw something over the top. That's what we worked on in camp. That was the plan, but Pacquiao has great footwork."