Manny grateful Bradley came to fight
By Dino Maragay Updated Monday April 14, 2014 - 12:23pm

Manny Pacquiao, right, of the Philippines, embraces Timothy Bradley following their WBO welterweight title boxing fight Saturday, April 12, 2014, in Las Vegas. Pacquiao won the bout by unanimous decision. (AP Photo/Eric Jamison)

MANILA, Philippines - Manny Pacquiao was elated that Timothy Bradley defied expectations and chose to slug it out with him instead of running all night when they locked horns in their rematch Sunday.

The previously unbeaten Bradley actually did backpedal to avoid getting stopped, but not until the later rounds where he appeared to be spent and moving on wobbly legs.

Pacquiao and his trainer Freddie Roach earlier anticipated Bradley to avoid engaging Pacquiao and instead use his boxing skills in an effort to elude a knockout.

But that wasn't the case on Sunday at the packed MGM Grand, as Bradley started the fight aggressively, oftentimes swinging wildly hoping to hit Pacquiao with a knockout blow.

The fighting congressman liked what he saw, and he too went out with guns blazing and tried to take Bradley out. But the American proved to be a tough nut to crack, and Pacquiao instead settled for a unanimous decision win to reclaim the WBO welterweight crown.

The result was an entertaining fight, which proved that Pacquiao still has what it takes to perform at the top level.

"I enjoyed it, because my opponent was moving in the early rounds, so he was coming inside and he wanted to fight toe-to-toe," a jubilant Pacquiao said in a report by ringtv.com's Lem Satterfield.

"Tonight, the fight was good. My opponent was trying to knock me out, and I was trying to knock him out, also. But there were times where he hit me also with a good right hook, left hook. But it's okay. This fight, I'm satisfied," added Pacquiao, who won 116-112 on two of the judges' scorecards and 118-112 on the other.

Despite the win, Pacquiao's knockout slump continues, having registered his last stoppage win in 2009 against Miguel Cotto. He tried to end that streak on Sunday, but Bradley, who absorbed his first professional loss in 32 fights, wouldn't oblige.

"I would grab the opportunity if he gave me the chance to knock him (Bradley) out. That's what I tried to do. But he was moving his head and he had good defense and he was missing a lot of punches with his defense," Pacquiao explained.

Nevertheless, the Filipino icon is contented with the win, something he claimed "proved that my boxing journey will continue."

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