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Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley 3: round-by-round recap

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Manny Pacquiao answered the questions of his Floyd Mayweather Jr. loss and an 11-month layoff Saturday, scoring two knockdowns en route to a unanimous-decision victory over Timothy Bradley Jr..

In front of 14,665 at MGM Grand Garden Arena, Pacquiao (58-6-2) knocked Bradley down in the seventh and ninth rounds – the first two knockdowns of the fighters’ trilogy – and the Filipino cruised to 116-110 scores by all three judges (Dave Moretti, Burt Clements, Steve Weisfeld).

PHOTO GALLERY: Pacquiao vs. Bradley

Manny Pacquiao defeats Timothy Bradley, but is this his last fight?

Manny Pacquiao mentioned retirement after his Saturday night work, but after knocking down Timothy Bradley twice in his unanimous-decision victory, calling it quits seems like a premature choice.

Pacquiao, 11 months after his record-selling Floyd Mayweather Jr. loss, returned to form with heavy punches, overpowering Bradley to close their trilogy and cruise to triumph by scores of 116-110 from all three judges, Dave Moretti, Burt Clements and Steve Weisfeld.

In front of 14,665 at MGM Grand, Pacquiao (58-6-2) knocked down Coachella Valley’s Bradley (33-2-1) in the seventh and ninth rounds.

“I was looking for the knockout in every round,” Pacquiao said. “He’s a very tough fighter and very good counterpuncher. This was the very best Tim Bradley I’ve faced in the three fights.”

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Round 12: Pacquiao stays upright; should win

Early in the round, Pacquiao pulled away saying Bradley hit him low. If that was the case, it was one of the few punches Bradley actually did any damage with. But Pacquiao was unhurt. The crowd started to get fired up as the fight ticked down to the end, even though the action didn’t match the crowd’s enthusiasm. Bradley actually started to connect on a few punches before Pacquiao started to retaliate in the final seconds. No doubt who won this fight. Time card: Pacquiao 10, Bradley 9. (Pacquiao 118, Bradley 107).

— John Cherwa

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Round 11: Pacquiao in complete control

Bradley is trying to come back throwing a few rights, but Pacquiao is unaffected. Both fighters seems to be just counting down the minutes to a Pacquiao win. There was a brief left by Pacquiao followed by a right by Bradley but the round was mostly devoid of action. Times card: Pacquiao 10, Bradley 9. (Pacquiao 108, Bradley 98).

— John Cherwa

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Pacquiao wins by unanimous decision

The judges had the fight only slightly tighter with identical scorecards of 116-110 for Manny Pacquiao.

— John Cherwa

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Round 10: Seemingly Pacquiao’s fight to lose

Pacquiao is showing the confidence of a fighter his stature. The action in the round slowed down, but Bradley is looking like a beaten fighter in this rubber match of the three bouts. Pacquiao is continuing to score with the lefts. After the round trainer Teddy Atlas seems resigned to the fact that the only way Bradley can win is by knockout. Pacquiao 10, Bradley 9. (Pacquiao 98, Bradley 90).

— John Cherwa

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Round 8: Bradley bounces back

Just when you thought Bradley was in trouble, he unleashed a fury against Pacquiao against the ropes that lasted for about 10 seconds late in the round. It showed that the fight may not be over and some in the crowd were chanting Bradley. Will it be enough, or is it too late? Times card: Bradley 10, Pacquiao 9. (Pacquiao 78, Bradley 73).

— John Cherwa

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Round 9: Bradley down again

Bradley seems to be energized after the last round taking the fight to Pacquiao. But then Pacquiao, sensing a moment, hit a couple of hard lefts that knocked down Bradley. There was no question that Bradley will need a KO to win this fight. Times card: Pacquiao 10, Bradley 8. (Pacquiao 88, Bradley 81.)

— John Cherwa

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Round 7: Bradley goes down

Pacquiao’s strategy of backing up Bradley and then taking a shot is clearly working. Bradley seems to be struggling to find a way to get to Pacquiao. The first knockdown of the fight came late in the round with a right hook combination. It was close to being a slip but was ruled a knockdown. Nonetheless, Bradley is in trouble with such a large deficit. Times card: Pacquiao 10, Bradley 8. (Pacquiao 69, Bradley 63).

— John Cherwa

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Round 6: Pacquiao showing more power

Pacquiao seems to be taking control of the fight with several counter punch combinations. While none of the punches hurt Bradley, it was getting Pacquiao points that will be tougher to overcome for Bradley as the later rounds approach. Bradley needs to start making some inroads, or at least win another round, or he will see the fight slip away. Times card: Pacquiao 10, Bradley 9. (Pacquiao 59, Bradley 55.)

— John Cherwa

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Round 5: Pacquiao in control

Pacquiao opened strong with some lefts, but Bradley countered and pinned Pacquiao on the ropes for a few seconds, not doing any damage but showing he was still in the fight. It seemed to energize Pacquiao who took Bradley to the ropes. In what is easily the best round, the fighters exchanged punches with Pacquiao winning the round in the most decisive manner. Pacquiao was in complete control the last minute of the round. Times card: Pacquiao 10, Bradley 9. (Pacquiao 49, Bradley 46.)

— John Cherwa

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Round 3: Bradley takes a round

This round, the fighters started to be less cautious. Pacquiao connected with a straight left, but Bradley came back with a little more aggression with a couple of weak shots hitting the mark. There is little doubt the bout has ventured much beyond the tactical stage. Pacquiao was making movements with his shoulder that could possibly foreshadow some problems. Times card: Bradley 10, Pacquiao 9. (Pacquiao 29, Bradley 28).

— John Cherwa

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Round 4: Pacquiao takes round

Even though the corner denies any problem, Pacquiao hasn’t really shown much authority using his right shoulder. But it didn’t deter him as he seems to be feeling his own, popping his gloves and having perhaps his best round. He connected on a left-right combination. Bradley finished the round with a right, but it wasn’t enough to win the round. Times card: Pacquiao 10, Bradley 9. (Pacquiao 39, Bradley 37).

— John Cherwa

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Round 2: Too close to call

Pacquiao is slightly more the aggressor, landing a couple of lefts. It was his round easier than the first but the crowd has yet to see a punch that has even hinted of doing damage. But non-action rounds score the same as those with lots of action. So far, a lot of dances. Times card: Pacquiao 10, Bradley 9. (Pacquiao 20, Bradley 18.)

— John Cherwa

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Ready to rumble?

Manny Pacquiao acknowledges the fans as he prepares to enter the ring for his title fight against Timothy Bradley.
(Isaac Brekken / Associated Press)

Timothy Bradley was the first to enter the ring, wearing a white robe adorned with a purple hood, which formed two lines down the front of his coverall. The music was unremarkable. He was followed by Manny Pacquiao to louder cheers, wearing a big smile and a blue short-sleeve shirt with a religious message on the back. Katy Perry’s “Roar” was playing in the background.

The referee for the fight is Tony Weeks, who was a late substitution for Robert Byrd, who had to withdraw because of a medical issue. The judges are Steve Weisfeld of New Jersey and Dave Moretti and Burt Clements of Nevada. None of the officials were involved in the previous two fights.

— John Cherwa

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Round 1: Pacquiao takes slight edge

Bradley tipped an early strategy by circling to Pacquiao’s left, but that didn’t mean that either fighter was pushing the action. Bradley was missing with more force than Pacquiao, but it was clearly a round where no blows connected. Bradley did start to establish a strategy, but Pacquiao will get the close rounds by the tiniest of margins. In the old days, it would be an even round. Pacquiao 10, Bradley 9.

— John Cherwa

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Main event getting close; fighters are in the ring

All the undercard fights are over and the Pacquiao vs. Bradley fight is getting close to starting.

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Gilberto Ramirez beats Arthur Abraham for title

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Some history looking to be made tonight

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At least some celebrities are in the building

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Valdez confident after win

Felt great. I know I’m going to get tough fights. I know I have to evolve. I’ve evolved.

Oscar Valdez, after stopping Evgeny Gradovich in the fourth round.

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The first winner of the night

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And a quick end to the second fight

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And we are off from Las Vegas!

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