LAS VEGAS, Nev. — There used to be a fighter named Manny Pacquiao, the Philippines’ superhero, who in a span of seven years, had established a 15 straight winning run, eight of them by way of knockouts on the way to becoming the only man in the universe to capture 10 titles in eight weight divisions.
That title victory run from 2005 to 2011 netted for the left-handed Kibawe, Bukidnon-born Pacquiao world championships in the WBC super-featherweight, WBC lightweight. IBO and Ring Magazine junior welterweight, WBO welerweight and WBC supdr-welterweight.
Add the WBC flyweight, IBF uper-bantamweight and Ring featherweight he had earlier won earlier in his career to complete that eight-division conquest that no one can ever duplicate
A loss to American Timothy Bradley via questionable split decision in 2012 and another, a bitter sixth round stoppage the same year not only interrupted the winning streak, but likewise triggered rumors that the now Philippine Congressman was
But no, the “Fighter of the Decade” vaulted back alive with a triple whammy, including an overwhelming payback versus Bradley himself, who suffered his first defeat in the next two years only to lose anew to arch-enemy Floyd Mayweather Jr. further flaming speculation he’s, indeed on the way out.
Saturday night, Pacquiao was back. And back he was that even Bradley, the two-time champion, thinks he should not retire. “Not yet.”
It was short of the Filipino ring icon teaching the pride of Palm Springs in California a neat boxing lesson, from the opening round on, which the judges — Dave Moretti, Burt Clements and Steve Wiesfeld — awarded to Bradley.
Pacquiao, unleashing his signature power and speed that knocked out future Hall of Famers Marco Antonio Barrera, Oscar DeLa Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto, dropped Bradley in the seventh and 10th rounds before relaxing a bit the rest of the way.
All three judges gave Pacquiao seven rounds each in turning in a unanimous identical scores 116-110.
The contest was close the first seven rounds despite the first knockout. The Pacman took four of the last that accounted for the final six-point difference.
Pacquiao was all praise for Bradley for giving a good fight to the delight of the 14,665 near sellout crowd in the 15,000-seat MGM Grand Arena.
He even invited Bradley to attend Sunday’s bible study he will be conducting to which the latter said he will oblige.
All questions in the traditional post-fight press conference were centered on his planned retirement he announced earlier to which Pacquiao answered in the affirmative.
“Yes, I have made my decision. I have a commitment to my family and besides my focus now is to serve my countrymen through government service,” the senatorial candidate in the coming elections a month from now said.
When the issue of coming back persisted, Pacquiao relented saying, “Let me first enjoy a life of retirement. I have never experience that, so allow me to and after living a life of retirement, that’s the time I will think about coming back.”
By Eddie G Alinea
Photo Credit By Wendell Rupert Alinea