The question who is the better boxer between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley was settled on Saturday with the unanimous decision by the Filipino eight division titleholder over the American boxer who suffered his first defeat.
The scorecards were 116-112 and 118-110 in favour of Pacquiao who regained the WBO welterweight title from Bradley and improved his record to 56-5-2.
The rematch also ends all speculation if Bradley indeed deserved the title due to the controversial first match in June 2012 which earned the American boxer the ire of boxing fans, causing him to even contemplate committing suicide.
Commenting on his loss, Bradley said, "I lost one fight. The war is not over. I gotta go back to the gym and get better," quoted by GMA News.
In a surprise move compared to his dissing Pacquiao in the pre-fight, Bradley congratulated Pacquiao for the good fight. Also, Pacquiao's mother, Dionesia, went up the ring and hugged both her son and Bradley after the fight.
Fil-Am singer Jessica Sanchez sang the Philippine national anthem, while American singer Ashanti rendered the U.S. national anthem.
With the welterweight belt back, Pacquiao's boxing career gets a second wind and his performance in the 12 rounds held at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, would make talks about his being a has-been pugilist stop. Bradley would surely no longer say that Pacquiao has lost his fire, hunger and killer instinct because he became victim to the Pacman's punches.
Prior to the rematch, Pacquiao's pregnant wife Jinkee has said that if Pacquiao would lose, she would convince him to retire from boxing. Saturday's match change all that.
The convincing victory of Pacquiao would likely trigger again talks of a possible match against Floyd Mayweather Jr who is scheduled to fight Argentiniean boxer Marcos Maidana on May 3 in the same venue.
However, Freddie Roach, Pacquiao's coach, has indicated prior to the rematch that if Manny would win, he wants Pacquiao to fight again Juan Miguel Marquez for the fifth time.
After the fight, Pacquiao said, "My journey in boxing will continue," adding he is open to fight any opponent, whether it is Marquez of Mayweather since everything "depend on my promoter Bob Arum. My job is to fight in the ring any opponent."
While the Pacquiao-Bradley fight was ongoing, in Manny's native land Philippines, life stood still for many cities as Filipinos stopped and watched the anticipated fight in sports arena and other public planes, likely logging another zero crime rate in Metro Manila and key cities.
However, while another hero's welcome awaits the congressman from Sarangani Province upon his return, he faces another foe in the Philippines who is threatening to gobble up his guaranteed $20 million purse - Bureau of International Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares who insists that the boxer owes public coffers P2.2 billion in back taxes and penalties, which if fully collected would mean Pacquiao would only settle about half of the tax bill.