Manny says it's a test of faith
Updated Monday June 11, 2012 - 12:00am
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LAS VEGAS – It was difficult to understand how two of the three judges scored the fight for Timothy Bradley Jr. but dethroned WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao showed no signs of bitterness in the dressing room after the loss which ended a seven-year streak of 15 straight wins at the MGM Grand Garden Arena here Saturday night.

Pacquiao was all smiles as he spoke about God’s will. “This is a test of faith,” he said. “I will be strong. I submit to God’s will. I know I won the fight. I knew Bradley would run away. Freddie (Roach) thought he would go toe-to-toe. And if he did, I would’ve knocked him out. I was right all along. Once he felt my power, he ran away. So how could he win the fight running away? Still, it’s God’s will. There is a reason why this happened.”

Pacquiao’s wife Jinkee said she’s not sad although when the decision was announced, traces of tears rolled down her cheeks. She brought along their four children to watch the fight for the first time overseas and Pacquiao’s father Rosalio also flew in.

“We must be strong,” she said. “We know Manny really won.”

Talk along press row touched on the “balancing” factor as it was speculated that Pacquiao got a break in the last Juan Manuel Marquez fight and was due for payback. Some newsmen said it was a “business” decision to arrange a rematch in November and blamed Top Rank for the machination.

“What does Marquez have to do with this?” asked Jinkee. And Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz said nothing is final about the rematch which Bradley publicly announced before the fight.

Roach wasn’t ecstatic about the idea of a rematch. “Sure, Bradley’s a tough guy, young, durable,” he said. “But when he got hit by Manny, he ran away. In a rematch, he’ll run away from the start. We could do a rematch, why not? That’s really up to Manny and what are the other options. I don’t know how this will impact on a possible fight against (Floyd) Mayweather. Maybe, now that Manny has lost, Mayweather will come to the table and sign up. That’s still a fight everyone wants to watch.”

Strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza said Pacquiao was fit and ready to fight. In the dressing room before the bout, Pacquiao loosened his calves on a treadmill for about six minutes – the first time he ever did it. He felt no cramps throughout the 12-round grind.

“I thought Manny carried the weight well,” said Ariza who was recently engaged to a Filipina Ria Garcia. “He came in about 150 pounds for the fight. He even ate 20 minutes before entering the ring. He didn’t lose his quickness. He still had his power. Bradley nearly went down at least thrice. The problem was Bradley wouldn’t engage.”

Lawyer Romy Macalintal, who witnessed the fight at ringside, urged the Nevada State Athletic Commission “to look into this highly questionable and controversial result. “There is no doubt in the minds of all impartial viewers and analysts that Pacquiao was the winner and robbed of the title,” he said. “It’s high time that questionable results in all sports should be the concern of the government where the event is held. In this case, it is not only Pacquiao who was personally affected by the decision. But more so, the boxing fans all over the world who deserve a clean and credible decision in all sports activities.”

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