Manny Pacquiao is a new man. Pacquiao has always prepared himself mentally and physically, but he has now added a new dimension to his approach: the spiritual. Since converting to Christianity, Pacquiao now carries a Bible with him in his limo, gave up his share of a casino, and has given up complete ownership of his bar.
But has religion weakened Manny Pacquiao? Prior to the fight, Manny not only looked less in shape than Timothy Bradley, but he looked less in shape for his own standards as well.
Timothy Bradley, on the other hand, was in tip-top shape. The up and coming fighter came into tonight with an undefeated record of 28-0, including 12 KO’s.
A week ago, this fight was considered a long shot for Timothy Bradley, but heading into tonight, there were some questions raised about Manny.
But Manny put an end to those questions immediately. Manny had nearly 100 more punches landed than Bradley and even knocked him back on his feet. Bradley was able to get his punches in at the very end, but Manny’s seemed to pack twice the punch every single round. It was blatant to everyone that Manny didn't respect the punches of his opponent as he smirked after every Bradley swing.
This fight was clearly one-sided.
But as the fight progressed and went the full 12 rounds, it was Timothy Bradley who was the winner by split decision.
As the boos cascaded down Las Vegas, it was obvious that there was something fishy about this fight. The commentators had Manny winning 11 out of the 12 rounds. Bradley's own manager had it 8-4 in favor of Pacquiao. However, the judges, gave 8 of the last 9 rounds to Bradley. In almost disbelief, Bradley himself said that he had to check the tape to see if he had won the fight or not. How many previous champions have had to check the tape to see if they won their own fight?
Tonight was clearly the biggest victory of Bradley’s career, but for the sport of boxing, not so much. There are already rumors about last minute betting in favor of Bradley, which may have altered the outcome of this fight. But who knows what the real reasons are, the only thing that's for certain is that this is a major step backwards for the sport of boxing.