AMERICAN TIMOTHY BRADLEY won a controversial split decision against world champion Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas on Saturday.
The much-hyped fight for the WBO welterweight title saw Pacquiao lose his first fight in over seven years as Bradley extended his career record to 29-0 with the win.
Pacquiao looked like he had done enough to claim victory despite letting Bradley back into the fight in the latter stages but he was denied another title when two judges scored the bout 115-113 to the American, while the other gave it to the Filipino by the same scoreline.
Pacquiao was a clear crowd favourite and started well, with his always impressive left causing Bradley problems.
When Bradley stumbled in the third and fourth rounds trying to duck punches from Pacquiao, it seemed that there would be only one winner.
Despite all of Pacquiao’s dominance though, he was unable to produce a knockout blow.
As the fight wore on, a tired-looking Pacquiao started to look slow and lacking energy as Bradley – who claimed he had early difficulties with an ankle problem – turned the momentum.
His right caused problems but when the fight ended, it seemed that Pacquiao would be declared the winner after landing 253 punches – 94 more than his opponent.
But the split decision not only shocked Pacquiao and incited the crowd into booing.
The loss was just Pacquiao’s second of his career as his record dropped to 54-4-2.
Promoter Bob Arum later claimed a rematch between the pair is likely to take place on November 10.