LAS VEGAS – An hour after his seven-year winning streak came to an end with a split-decision loss to Timothy Bradley, Manny Pacquiao remained as calm and collected as he was when he entered the ring.
Pacquiao made it clear he didn’t agree with the verdict but took it all in stride, blaming no one for the controversial verdict that cost him his world welterweight title and tainted a record that had been spotless since the first of his three fights with Eric Morales in 2005.
“That’s part of the game. We accept and respect the decision,” said Pacquiao, whose radiant pink polo complemented the smile on his face, notwithstanding the shock over the highly controversial loss.
“The best attitude of an athlete is respect and professionalism.”
Pacquiao admitted his deep faith in God somehow helped him cope with the disappointment. “Religion is a personal thing, but it also helped,” he said. “But to the fans, you know in your hearts who won.”
“Me, hundred percent I believe I won the fight,” added the 33-year-old southpaw, who was accompanied in the dais during the post-fight press conference by wife Jinkee and children Emmanuel and Michael.
Pacquiao later bared that Bradley didn’t hurt him a single bit in the duration of the match.
“To tell you the truth, I don’t even remember if he hurt me with a single punch,” said the Filipino hero. “He hit me with jabs, but I don’t remember being hit with a single solid punch.”
Informed about the rematch clause stipulated in the contract, the boxing star said he’d be more than willing to fight Bradley again.
And the next time, he doesn’t want to leave his fate in the judges’ scorecards.
“I should become a warrior in the rematch,” he said.