The world now knows that Manny Pacquiao was victorious in his rubber match against top contender Timothy Bradley but which way did the action go and who won and loss in their boxing picks on Saturday night?
The Winning Sides
There was much debate about this fight with Timothy Bradley looking reborn in his previous fight under new trainer Teddy Atlas and securing his first finish since 2011 with a ninth round TKO of Brandon Rios. The boxing odds tumbled on the favorite Manny Pacquiao from as high as -300 all the way to -200 when the fight began due to questions concerning Pacquiao’s shoulder, ring rust and his disappointing performance against Floyd Mayweather. The word was that the younger Bradley was a live dog which led many to include him in their boxing picks on Saturday night.
But the sharps had other ideas and watched the masses bet the underdog until the price was right on the Filipino sensation. When the dust settled it was Pac Man who dominated the fight, and the judge’s scorecards, with a unanimous decision victory. Below is what a perfect night would have looked like:
Pacquiao wins: -200
Pacquiao wins by decision: Even
Will the fight go the distance: Yes -350
Patrick L. Stumberg of MMAMAnia.com must have had a crystal ball when he wrote in his prefight analysis the following:
“I do not see this fight-ending inside the distance. On one side, Pacquiao hasn't scored a knockout in more than six years and Bradley's durable to a nearly superhuman degree. On the other, "Desert Storm" is not a consistent finisher in any way, shape or form.
That takes most of these props off the table.
Honestly, the best bet is probably Pacquiao by decision, which is currently sitting at even odds. Twenty-four rounds of action between the two have given a fairly clear picture of the stylistic match up and it definitely favors Pacquiao. I doubt "PacMan" slows down enough for that to change now, even with Bradley's resurgence under Teddy Atlas.
It ain't a risky pick, but it's the right one.”
What’s Next for Manny?
Manny Pacquiao is “retired” for now but one has to feel that he has plenty of gas left in the tank after his convincing unanimous decision win over a world class fighter like Timothy Bradley. Pacquiao has made a fortune off of the sweet science and professional athletes are not known for going quietly into that good night when the end is nigh. If I am a betting man, and I am, I would wager we will see Pacquiao back inside the squared circle until his pay-per-view audience no longer wishes to pay for that privilege.
Pacquiao has reportedly earned over $500 million between purses and endorsements in a career that has spanned over 20 years. Money has long since been a non-issue for Pacquiao, earning more than even the most foolhardy could spend in several lifetimes. It is now merely a measuring stick for what he is worth to the paying public and right now his brand has spiked after his most recent performance. Some believed Saturday night would be his swan song and it is still officially still that. However, the allure of the limelight, the public adulation and the adrenaline rush of being the most talked about fighter outside of Floyd Mayweather is a temptation that he may not be able to resist.
As for Timothy Bradley he will go back to the drawing board and get a bout with a can’t-miss opponent that will prop him back up after he was exposed as a very good, though by no means historically elite, fighter for the third time by Pacquiao. We know now that Timothy Bradley will never keep company with the greats like Pacquiao and Mayweather in the pantheon of legendary welterweights. But that is okay because he has plenty of company in that regard and more importantly, oodles of earning potential in the fight game despite that fact. One thing we know for certain, there will never be a Bradley/Pacquiao IV as three chapters were more than enough for that book.