If you were one of those people who called it a career for Manny Pacquiao after back-to-back losses to Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez, it’s time to reassess things.
Pacquiao picked up a win by unanimous decision over Bradley in their rematch Saturday night in Las Vegas. He reclaimed his WBO welterweight title in the process.
The Pac Man hadn’t lost in seven years prior to the June 2012 loss to Bradley — and had established himself as the most-dominant force in boxing, possibly short of Floyd Mayweather.
But Pacquiao lost his luster with those two straight losses. He beat Brandon Rios last November, but now he’s picked up a win against another elite competitor in Bradley.
So is Pacquiao back to his former dominant self? Well, we’ll probably never know unless he finally tangles with Mayweather. I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one, though this win over Bradley certainly makes the showdown more palatable again.
Maybe the surprising thing was the pro-Pacquiao crowd. Bradley positioned himself as the heel, saying he’d knock out the former champ, but the bandwagon was certainly looking empty for Pacquiao over the last year or two. But the crowd at the MGM Crowd chanted “Manny, Manny” throughout the fight.
The next fight on Pacquiao’s docket may be a rematch with Marquez to avenge that loss. Marquez faces Mike Alvarado on May 17, and should he win, the two will almost certainly meet again.
Like I said, don’t hold your breath for that Mayweather-Pacquiao fight.
Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports.