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Pacquiao puzzled, composed after upset

Timothy Bradley, left, scores a controversial split decision victory and ends Manny Pacquiao’s 15-fight winning streak. Both want a November rematch.

Associated Press

Timothy Bradley, left, scores a controversial split decision victory and ends Manny Pacquiao’s 15-fight winning streak. Both want a November rematch.

LAS VEGAS — In a stunning slight to punch statistics, and the naked eyes of most everyone else, two judges scored Timothy Bradley as the upset winner over Manny Pacquiao of their WBO welterweight title bout late Saturday night.

Judges C.J. Ross and Duane Ford gave Bradley a 115-113 edge at MGM Grand Garden Arena, while judge Jerry Roth scored the bout 115-113 for Pacquiao.

Pacquiao (54-4-2, 38 knockouts), who relied on his power and speed advantages to repeatedly back up Bradley (29-0, 12 KOs), said he will invoke his right for a rematch in November and Bradley said he wants to go at it again, too.

That likely further delays a Pacquiao showdown with Floyd Mayweather Jr. until at least 2013.

Asked if he beat Bradley, Pacquiao said in the ring, "No doubt."

Boos among the 14,206 in attendance cascaded in the arena upon the announcement of the scores.

"I hope you're not dismayed or discouraged," Pacquiao, 33, said calmly. "I can fight. I can still fight."

Bradley, 28, said although he was pained by a twisted left ankle in the second round that bothered him until the sixth, he believed he rallied to win.

"I didn't think he was as good as everyone says he was," Bradley said. "I didn't feel his power."

On the scoring, he replied: "There's three judges out there. What do you want me to do? Two of them felt I won the fight. That's all that counts."

Despite a 158-80 lead by Pacquiao on connected punches after seven rounds, Ross and Ford each awarded Bradley five of the final six rounds even though Pacquiao backed Bradley to the ropes in the eighth and ninth rounds, and was tapping mitts urging him to fight. Bradley appeared reduced to jabbing in the 11th round.

"Manny hurt me a few times with his left hand. He's a beast," Bradley said. "But my corner told me if I won the last round, I'd win the fight."

Bradley, who came to the postfight news conference in a wheelchair, said he told trainer Joel Diaz after the second round that he thought his ankle was broken.

"He said, 'What do you want to do? You're in the fight of your life. Do you want to quit?' " Bradley said. "I said, 'No.' "

Bradley's manager, Cameron Dunkin, said Sunday that the fighter tore ligaments in his left foot and will have an MRI today to check for broken bones.

CompuBox showed Pacquiao connected on 253 punches to Bradley's 159, with a 63-51 advantage in jabs and 190-108 in power punches. Many reporters at ringside unofficially scored the bout for Pacquiao in the 9-3 to 11-1 range.

"I've never been as ashamed of the sport of boxing as I am (Saturday night)," promoter Bob Arum said. "People don't know what they're watching anymore. I'm going to make a lot of money," in a rematch, "but who's going to take this sport seriously?"

Pacquiao shook his head in amazement to reporters. "He never hurt me with his punches," he said. "I did my best. I guess my best wasn't good enough. Most of his punches hit my arm. I don't know what happened."

He vowed he would not let the fate of the fight go to judges' scorecards if the two meet as expected Nov. 10.

"That will make me become a warrior in the next few months," Pacquiao said, "because in the rematch my feeling is I don't want to go the whole 12 rounds."

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Pacquiao puzzled, composed after upset 06/10/12 [Last modified: Sunday, June 10, 2012 8:04pm]
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