It would be pointless for Filipinos to think about what could have been. There is no more time for that. Timothy Bradley Jr. has dethroned Manny Pacquiao and, like it or not, the Filipino ring icon is world champion no more.
Of course and we agree with the unbiased global press, the world knows Pacquiao should have at least kept his title – and we agree for the simple reason that boxing challengers traditionally wrest world boxing championships in far more convincing fashion.
Oh yeah, Bradley put up a gallant stand and was a rock-solid target, but that’s just about it. I’ve been looking for at least a defining round for Bradley, but have yet to find one. Pacquiao was in total control of the bout, although Bradley sure did perform far better than he was supposed to.
Fact is, all sorts of verbal punches had rained down on the American even before the fight started -- the primer prepared by the local carrying television network had self-styled analysts peppering Bradley with insults and more.
Perhaps no undefeated professional boxer had been ridiculed more before a fight. One of them said he was a bodybuilder, not a boxer, who should have joined the Mr. Universe contest instead. Another said he was too slow, and that Pacquiao could take coffee breaks in between rounds.
Nobody gave Bradley even a tinge of respect. He was just an obscure fighter given a chance to fight, arguably, the greatest boxer of all-time, under the klieg lights of LasVegas -- a lucky yet unlucky chap they said who was like a cattle being herded to slaughter.
Or so they said. Or so more than 90 million Filipino were made to believe so that when the unthinkable was announced – Bradley had won by split decision - you could almost hear the collective cursing by the Filipino population.
It was as tragic for the Pacquiao fateful as it was a great day for Bradley, who had come in the way when most had expected another junior, Floyd Mayweather, to trade blows with the Pacman before year’s end.
Of course, the same analysts AS DID MANY OTHERS WHO HAD TAGGED PACQUIAO a certainty, were left to eat humble pie after the bout.
In horseracing, there is a saying that goes, “don’t bet the ranch,” to stress a truism in the world of sports that there is no such thing as a sure thing.
It was a bitter pill to swallow for Filipinos, a rude awakening if you may say so, but the Philippines has other world champions like yet another junior, Nonito Donaire, the world bantamweight titlist, as well as Brian Viloria. They can fill the void and help ease the pain of the Pacquiao debacle.
The snake-bit Filipino nation has yet to recover from the stinging setback, but trust Pacquiao to make amends the next time he climbs the ring – you bet in a manner only a Manny Pacquiao knows and can.
It was a fight Manny Pacquiao wasn’t supposed to lose but did. But keep in mind that Pacquiao thrives best under nerve-jangling pressure and after setbacks like the one against Erik Morales, his last loss before Bradley.
Timothy Bradley had pulled off a caper under strange circumstances. And with Mayweather locked up in jail, expect Bradley to defend his crown in a rematch against Pacquiao soon.
Maybe this time, the judges know how to score boxing bouts. Hopefully, sanity will reign once again. The madness of Pacquiao-Bradley must stop for the sake of a sport we’ve all loved through the years.
And please, no more silly and irrelevant pre-fight analysis.