In their third and possibly final fight together, 37-year-old Manny Pacquiao (58-6-2, 38 KOs) proved to have too much speed and talent for former two division world champion Tim Bradley (33-2-1, 13 KOs) in defeating him by a 12 round unanimous decision on Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Pacquiao was the one coming forward all night trying to make the fight happen. Pacquiao’s aggressiveness paid off, as he knocked Bradley down in the 7th and 9th rounds. Other than those knockdowns, the fight was mostly a tactical affair with Bradley trying to avoid getting hit, and Pacquiao looking to land single left hand shots.
Pacquiao’s right arm was seldom used in the fight, which begs the question whether he was able to fully rehab it after rotator cuff surgery last May. It would seem that Pacquiao’s right shoulder isn’t the same after he suffered a torn rotator cuff injury in his last fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. Luckily for Pacquiao, he didn’t need his right hand much tonight. His left hand was more than enough to win the fight.
The scores were 116-110, 116-110 and 116-110.
Unbeaten WBO mandatory challenger Gilberto Ramirez (34-0, 24 KOs) out-boxed WBO super middleweight champion Arthur Abraham (44-5, 29 KOs) in winning a 12 round unanimous decision in the co-feature bout. The judges gave the fight to Ramirez by a lopsided score of 120-108, 120-108 and 120-108.
The scores were clearly wrong. Abraham won at least two to three rounds, but the judges scored it like it was a whitewash. Ramirez boxed, moved, and generally avoided Abraham’s big power shots. If you like this kind of fighting style, it was a real treat. But for the most part, it wasn’t the most entertaining fights you’ll ever see.
Abraham got too aggressive in the 2nd round and was staggered by a right hook from Ramirez, who caught him while he was coming forward.
The victory makes Ramirez the first Mexican to win a super middleweight world title.
We could see Ramirez back in the ring in the summer against fellow Top Rank fighter Jesse Hart. Their promoter Bob Arum would like to put Ramirez in with Gennady Golovkin. That would seem to be a pipe dream on Arum’s part. Golovkin isn’t going to move up to 168 to fight a guy that looks like he should be fighting at 175 like Ramirez. Arum is going to need to move Ramirez to 175 if he wants big fights. He’s kind of in the same boat as Andre Ward was in; not that Ramirez is the best fighter in the division. I don’t think he’s going to be able to get the big fights in this weight class, and he’s not going to be able to pull a Saul “Canelo” Alvarez move by dragging smaller fighters two weight classes down to fight him at 168. There’s no upside fighting Ramirez because he’s not a star.
Arum needs to sit Ramirez down and tell him he needs to fight in the pocket more because he can’t run around the ring every fight and expect to build a fan base. His performance was really boring to watch.
In the best performance on the card, undefeated featherweight Oscar Valdez (19-0, 17 KOs) annihilated former IBF featherweight champion Evgeny Gradovich (22-2-1, 9 KOs) in defeating him by a 4th round knockout. Valdez landed a big left hand in the fourth that put Gradovich down. The fight was stopped at 2:14 of the round. Gradovich was hurt after he got up, and the right side of his jaw was badly swollen.
Other boxing results on tonight’s card in Las Vegas:
Jose Ramirez UD 10 Manny Perez
Oleksandr Gvozdyk TKO 2 Nadjib Mohammedi
Konstantin Ponomarev SD 10 Brad Solomon
Egidijus Kavaliauskas UD 8 Deniz Ilbay