LAS VEGAS - Nobody seemed to believe Tim Bradley when he said he'll shock the world come Saturday (Sunday, Manila time).
He proved true to his word.
The big underdog delivered on his promise and pulled off one of the biggest upsets in boxing history, beating Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao via split decision in their world title fight at the MGM Grand.
Bradley, a 4-1 underdog, stood his ground for 12 rounds and held his own against Pacquiao, who suffered just the fourth loss of his career and his first in his past 16 fights going back to 2005.
The undefeated American challenger not only wrested Pacquiao's World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title but also put himself in the annals of the fight game for the unbelievable turnaround.
Two judges scored it for Bradley 115-113 while the third one had Pacquiao winning the fight by the same score.
The decision was met by disbelief and boos greeted the announcement.
Pacquiao, 33, smiled as he left the ring but couldn't hide his shock and disappointment over the shocking turn of events.
"I don't know what happened," said Pacquiao about the decision. Asked if he thought he had won, Pacquiao said, "No doubt."
"I did my best," Pacquiao continued. "I guess my best wasn't good enough."
Fight promoter Bob Arum described the decision as "unfathomable."
"I've never been as ashamed of the sport of boxing as I am tonight," Arum added while giving the assurance that there will definitely be a rematch in November.
Arum also handles Bradley, who later entered the press room for the post-fight interviews in a wheelchair, both ankles swelling.
Bradley called Pacquiao a "beast" but claimed he did not feel the Filipino's vaunted power.
Bradley was wheeled out of the press conference after calling himself the new champion and the No. 2 pound-for-pound king, obviously after jailed compatriot Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Even the final punch statistics favored Pacquiao.
Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach said later the judges may have watched the fight with their eyes closed.
The loss nonetheless cast doubt on the future of Pacquiao, a Hall of Fame-bound fighter who had shown signs of slowing down beginning with his controversial victory over Juan Manuel Marquez in November.
Pacquiao, who was clearly looking for a knockout, hurt Bradley in the early rounds but could not put away the shifty challenger.
Bradley fought well in spurts but scored enough points to earn the judges' nod in the end.