Saturday, April 9, saw Pacquiao [58-6-2] beat Bradley [33-2-1] at the MGM Grand in front of an over 14,000 crowd with two knockouts in the seventh and ninth rounds. These two’s fight trilogy came to a close via unanimous decision, a resounding victory to the Pacman with scores 116-110 from all three judges of that night’s event.
But what dampened the night’s victory for the Filipino champ’s fans was his announcement beforehand that he was leaving the boxing world after the Saturday bout. His reasons — he wants to devout more time to his family as well as his desire to serve his country. Pacquiao is running for a senate seat and with the Philippine elections set for next month, his leaving the sports is timely.
Was last Saturday’s win his farewell victory?
Timothy Bradley was the first to enter the ring wearing a white hood with a purple hood. Manny Pacquiao came in next wearing his country’s colors – blue, white and red – all the while smiling as Katy Perry’s Roar played in the background.
While Bradley did fight amazingly in the bout especially in Rounds 2 and 8 [where he cornered the People’s Champ and forced him to cover himself up], Pacquiao came out as the aggressor even showing glimpses of his old fighting self many times throughout the fight. He managed to down Bradley twice in the 12-round bout, in the 7th [though Bradley didn’t look shaken by his fall in this round] and the 9th rounds. By the 10th, Bradley already showed signs of strain.
In the last round, Bradley recovered and advanced aggressively. However, his zeal came in too late. Pacquiao remained standing, a strong indicator that he already bagged the bout even before the judges’ decision was announced.
Naturally, with the power Pacquiao showed in his fight against Bradley, the first question that greeted him post-fight was would he still continue on with his retirement after the night’s victory? Wouldn’t his win make him reconsider walking away from the boxing world?
However, Pacquiao remained steadfast with his decision.
“Like I said, sir, I already made a commitment to my family that after this fight I am going to go back home and spend more time with them. And I [am] going to retire and serve the people of the Philippines. That is my focus,” he said.
Nevertheless, there’s a ray of hope for Pacquiao fans.
“My heart is 50/50. Boxing is a really hard sport, very difficult. Like I said, I might enjoy retired life. It’s hard to say because I’m not there yet. But right now my decision is to retire,” he stated after laughing when another reporter asked him about his retirement for the third time.
And when asked if he would consider going back inside the ring should Floyd Mayweather Jr. agree to a second boxing match with him, Pacquiao gave an open-ended answer.
So, to answer the question: was the Saturday bout Pacquiao’s farewell victory? Well, the possibilities are endless. Let’s just not put a dot to that.