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Pacquiao beats Bradley in farewell fight

Associated Press Associated Press 10/04/2016 By Tim Dahlberg

Manny Pacquiao may not be ready for retirement just quite yet.

Pacquiao returned from the biggest loss of his career with a bang Saturday night, knocking down Timothy Bradley twice on his way to a unanimous 12-round decision in their welterweight showdown.

Pacquiao shook off the ring rust from a layoff of nearly a year after losing to Floyd Mayweather Jr. to beat Bradley for a second time in the rubber match between the two fighters.

In doing so, the Senate candidate in his native Philippines showed he may have to reconsider his plans to retire and devote his full time to politics.

Pacquiao (58-6-2) knocked down Bradley (33-2-1) in the seventh round, though Bradley seemed to have slipped. He left no doubt in the ninth with a big left hand that sent Bradley sprawling.

The fight was scored 116-110 by all three ringside judges. The Associated Press had it 117-110.

In the final seconds, many in the crowd of 14,665 at the MGM Grand arena were on their feet chanting "Manny! Manny!" as Pacquiao tried to end the bout with a flourish. He never came close to finishing off Bradley, though he was so far ahead on the ringside scorecards that it didn't matter.

If the fight was indeed the end of the 37-year-old Pacquiao's career, it was a remarkable one. Aside from the loss to Mayweather last year he did little wrong in winning eight weight class titles in 21 years as a pro.

"As of now I am retired," Pacquiao said. "I am going to go home and think about it but I want to be with my family. I want to serve the people."

Pacquiao had no problems with the right shoulder he injured against Mayweather as he stalked Bradley across the ring, looking to land big shots. He landed enough of them to make Bradley wary, and the knockdown in the ninth round seemed to take the rest of the fight out of Bradley.

"Manny was strong the entire fight and he was also very patient," Bradley said. "I wasn't professional enough to stay patient myself and I walked into shots."

Both fighters took some time to get untracked, with the early rounds offering little action. Pacquiao seemed a bit rusty from his layoff and Bradley was unwilling to get inside and trade punches.

Pacquiao began picking up the pace and stalking Bradley, though, coming in behind a right jab and following it with his left hand. In the seventh round, he seemed to graze Bradley with a pair of punches and Bradley went to his knees for what referee Tony Weeks ruled a knockdown.

"He was very quick, very explosive," Bradley said.

Pacquiao, who was guaranteed $US7 million ($A9.33 million), was fighting for the first time since losing to Mayweather last May in the richest fight ever. He lost a unanimous decision in that fight, blaming his lacklustre performance on the shoulder injury that flared up in the fourth round and required surgery afterward.

If it was Pacquiao's last fight, he goes out as one of the biggest pay-per-view attractions in the sport. Pacquiao headlined 22 pay-per-view fights, generating more than 18 million buys and $US1.2 billion ($A1.60 billion) in PPV revenue.

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