LAS VEGAS – Timothy Bradley has faced a lot of great boxers, but it’s Manny Pacquiao who's on top of his list.
Beaten but unbowed, the 32-year-old American paid the ultimate compliment to the man responsible for the only two losses in his stellar career.
“He’s the best fighter I ever faced,” said Bradley in the post-fight press conference that followed his welterweight showdown fight with Pacquiao which he lost by unanimous decision.
Bradley wore a black cap which he lowered to cover part of his face, but not the obvious bump just below his right eye, proof of the ordeal he had to go through at the hands of Pacquiao for the entire 12-round fight.
“He’s explosive, he’s got a lot of experience, he’s got a lot of power,” said Bradley in describing his 37-year-old opponent.
On this night, he said Pacquiao is ever a lot smarter.
“He was super smart. He knew where I was gonna be,” said the native of Palm Springs, California.
Bradley went down twice during the bout, both courtesy of Pacquiao’s known lethal weapon – his left hand.
In the two times that they fought in the past, Bradley hasn’t been knocked down by Pacquiao, including their first meeting which the American won by split decision.
But Bradley said hands down, Pacquiao got the best of him this time.
“I fought the best I could tonight,” he said. “It seems like Manny was always in the right spot. He’s a step ahead of me when I was supposed to be a step ahead of him.”
Told about Pacquiao’s decision to retire after the fight, Bradley was straight-faced in saying he was not in favor of it.
“No, Manny Pacquiao shouldn’t retire,” he said.