LAS VEGAS, Nevada – Manny Pacquiao wants another shot at Timothy Bradley, and next time he doesn’t plan to give the American a chance to win over any judges.
“I want a re-match,” Pacquiao declared after Bradley claimed his World Boxing Organization welterweight world title with a split decision victory that stunned many.
“That makes me become a warrior in the ring, this coming re-match, because in the re-match my thinking is I don’t want to finish the whole 12 rounds.”
Pacquiao, considered by many the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, had won 15 straight fights dating back to 2005.
The unbeaten Bradley — the WBO light welterweight champion — absorbed punishing blows in almost every round, while rarely appearing able to hurt the Filipino superstar.
Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach said he was surprised when the first judge’s score was read out, giving it 115-113 to Pacquiao — which he thought was a little close.
“It wasn’t a good start,” Roach said. “It wasn’t as bad as the other two.”
The two other ringside judges scored it 115-113 for Bradley — prompting a chorus of boos in the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Pacquiao said he was so sure he had won the fight that he wasn’t even paying attention when the result was read out.
Roach said he didn’t know if Pacquiao’s narrow decision over Juan Manuel Marquez in his last fight in November worked against him on this night.
“I’m not sure if our last fight had something to do with it because our last fight was a very close fight and a little controversial.
“Did they hold that against us? I’m not sure,” Roach said.
This time, Roach said: “I didn’t see that many close rounds.”
Roach was heard exhorting Pacquiao to go for a knockout in the 12th round, but he said that wasn’t because he thought his fighter was trailing.
“I like knockouts,” Roach said.
It was an especially disappointing outcome for Pacquiao given he had hoped for a decisive victory in the wake of his unconvincing win over Marquez.
He came into the fight saying he had been buoyed in body as well as spirit by re-dedicating his life to God, devoting time to Bible study and cutting out pursuits including gambling, drinking and womanizing that had stressed his marriage in the lead-up to his last bout.
While Pacquiao and Roach said the changes had made for far fewer distractions, there was an odd pre-fight episode in which Pacquiao’s entry was delayed and Roach said he couldn’t find his fighter.
Pacquiao was located in an adjoining room, warming up his cramp-prone calves on a treadmill after watching Miami beat Boston in game seven of the NBA Eastern Conference finals.
By the time he made his belated entrance to the ring, Pacquiao appeared to be in full fight mode.
Although Bradley admitted he was impressed by Pacquiao’s speed and power, he didn’t make enough of an impression on the judges.
“You know, I respect the decision, but 100 percent I believe I won the fight,” Pacquiao said.
“We have to respect my opponent also. Give credit to him. The fans, in your heart you know who won the fight, but it’s OK.”