Quick Results: Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley III
The rubber-match between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley took place on Saturday to settle a 4-year score of an underwhelming rivalry. Perhaps the more interesting factoids going in was the possibility of this being Pacquiao’s last time in the ring, as well as the politically charged undercard attack against presidential candidate Donald Trump. The “No Trump” undercard featured four Mexican fighters, a Russian and a German. In fact, the only American involved in the entire night was Timothy Bradley and I’d be surprised if he was a Donald Trump supporter. But politics aside, here’s a recap for those that missed the action!
The Main Card:
Manny Pacquiao wins the trilogy via 12-round unanimous decision
After all the bizarre ongoings in the buildup to the fight, Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley faced off to settle their one-win-a-piece trilogy. Ring introductions and opening round cheers from the crowd proved that there is still plenty of fan support and adoration for the Filipino boxing legend. The action in the fight, however, may not have lived up to the cheering in the crowd.
Opening rounds felt a bit more like a glorified sparring match with Pacquiao taking the edge, but action picked up in the 5th, as Bradley threw more caution into the wind, backing Pacquiao against the ropes on a number of occasions and Pacquiao came back with a spirited exchange to take the round. Still, the action didn’t far exceed a great gym war (though those are admittedly exciting at the same time). The remainder of the fight settled back into the vibe of a sparring session with short flashes of action. Pacquiao went on to score a pair of knockdowns throughout the rest of the fight and won by scores of 116-110 on all three scorecards. The public consensus appears to be that the third fight between the two only reaffirmed the insignificance of the matchup to begin with, since most analysts believe Pacquiao took their first two encounters.
As to the bigger question of the night, Pacquiao gave a semi-certain statement of his retirement in the post-fight interview:
“Well I have a commitment to my family that I’m going to retire after this, and you know, we don’t know, if you ask me if I’m coming back, maybe I enjoy being a retired man, serving the people and help[ing] the people,” said Pacquiao to HBO analyst Max Kellerman.
Kellerman went on to mention how trainer Freddie Roach mentioned wanting to see his charge take on Canelo Álvarez, then a rematch with Floyd Mayweather, despite Álvarez seemingly inching up in the middleweight division and Mayweather being retired. Pacquiao of course gave some non-answer saying how he appreciated the fans.
As to whether or not Bradley would retire, he gave similar back-and-forth thoughts, dropping the overused phrase of “going back to the drawing board” in regards to the future of his career. I do have to say, however, that Bradley showed tremendous grace in the post-fight interview, giving full credit to the victor and making light-hearted and self-depreciating comments about the knockdowns. It also appeared that he even scheduled a breakfast the morning after with Pacquiao and his team before the two departed. A bit uncommon in post-fight interactions (at least ones that the public is privy to), but given all that has happened leading up to the fight, it actually fits perfectly.
Jose Ramirez outpunches Manny Perez over 10 rounds
2012 U.S. Olympian Jose Ramirez opened the night by dominating journeyman Manny Perez in a 10 round affair. At 16-0 with 12KOs, Ramirez was the obvious favorite going into the fight, but certainly had a challenge in the durable and perpetual underdog Perez. Though Ramirez out-landed, out-pointed, and out-gunned the lesser-skilled Perez, the “Denver Underdog” hung in with a few flashes of brilliance in the 4th round. Ramirez won the bout by scores of 97-93, 98-92, and 99-91, and while technically dominate, did show significant flaws in his defense during the fight. It will be interesting to see how his career unfolds from here.
Oscar Valdez Jr. finishes Evgeny Gradovich in four.
Two-time Mexican Olympian Oscar Valdez Jr. made quick work of the “Mexican Russian” Evgeny Gradovich by closing the show in the 4th round via left-hand counter. Going into the fight, Valdez Jr. sported an impressed 18-0 record with 16KOs, though Gradovich had a fairly impressive resume himself at 21-1-1 with 9KOs by, and fought current IBF champ Lee Selby. Gradovich was a notable step up in competition for the young Valdez Jr. who had a notable trainer Robert Garcia in his corner for the fight. It seemed to provide little help, however, as Valdez Jr. went on to be the first to stop the Russian contender and added momentum onto his breakout year in 2015. Valdez Jr. is being groomed to be one of the next big stars in boxing and with such a power-heavy record under his belt, he’s certainly a name to keep an eye on.
Gilberto Ramirez pitches 12-round shut out against Arthur Abraham
WBO super middleweight titlist Arthur Abraham put his belt on the line against undefeated prospect Gilberto Ramirez in the final undercard matchup. The fight also held the potential of making history, as Ramirez would be the first Mexican super middleweight champion in the history of the sport. Originally, the championship bout was slated to be it’s own card in Berlin, but Top Rank promoter Bob Arum managed to negotiate the fight onto the “No Trump” undercard.
The bout proved uneventful in the sense that it was not really a sporting competition. Abraham did virtually nothing during the fight, and Ramirez went on to score a shutout victory by scores of 120-108 on all three judges scorecards. Seeing Abraham’s performance explained why boxing legend Bernard Hopkins was considering him for his farewell fight. It would have been a genius move for the 51-year old phenom, but now appears to be no longer an option. Ramirez now improves to 34-0 and is the new (the first Mexican) WBO middleweight champion.
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