LAS VEGAS -- It's fight night in Las Vegas, and as usual SI.com will provide round by round coverage of a major pay per view. At around 11:30 ET (give or take) Manny Pacquiao will attempt to win back the WBO welterweight title Tim Bradley took from him in 2012.
It's been a fairly quiet fight week. Pacquiao is never much of a talker and Bradley couched most of his trash talk with acknowledgments of Pacquiao's greatness. Even the trainers--Freddie Roach and Joel Diaz--have been cordial. The only drama has involved Bob Arum, the promoter of the event, and executives at the MGM Grand, the site of Pacquaio-Bradley II. Arum has publicly (and repeatedly) rebuked casino execs for mixing signage for Floyd Mayweather's upcoming fight in with Pacquiao's. Mayweather fights Marcos Maidana on May 3rd at the MGM Grand. Suffice it to say, it may be a long time before Top Rank comes back to the MGM.
Keep this page bookmarked: I'll check back in as we get closer to the main event
8:50 pm And we're back. Three largely uneventful, uninteresting fights in the books. To recap: Bryan Vasquez scored a unanimous decision win over Joes Felix, Jessie Vargas outpointed Khabib Allakhverdiev in a mild upset and Ray Beltran easily decisioned Arash Usmanee. Arum has made it clear he has little interest in investing big money on pay per view undercards. So I guess you get what you pay for.
A few notes:
-Pacquiao weighed in at 145-pounds yesterday, 151 on HBO's unofficial scale tonight. Bradley tipped the scales at 145.5 yesterday, 152-pounds today.
-In talking to Top Rank and HBO executives this week, the sense I get is if the fight does in the neighborhood of 850,000 pay per view buys, they will be happy. Arum has trumpeted that he expects the fight to exceed 1 million, but I don't see it. My prediction: Somewhere in the 750,000 range.
-Some early celeb sightings: Jack Nicholson, Charles Barkley, Dave Chappelle
-In addition to blogging, I'll be tweeting updates from my account (@ChrisMannixSI). My new colleague Greg Bishop is also ringside. Follow him at @GregBishopSI.
8:55 pm Blog favorite and official boxing prognosticator Cheapo Tony (@CheapoTony) has weighed in: Bradley. As most of you know, Cheapo is the anti-oracle, the worst fight picker in Internet history. So take that for what it's worth. Officially, per the MGM Grand, Pacquiao is a nearly 3-1 favorite (-280) while Bradley, the champion, is the underdog (+230)
9:10 Here comes Manny Pacquiao. Pacquiao, the crowd favorite, walks to the ring to Katy Perry's "Roar." A "Manny, Manny" chant booms from the rafters when Pacquiao emerges from the tunnel.
9:15 It's Tim Bradley's turn. A Bradley highlight video with D.J. Khaled's "All I do is win" playing over it is on the screens around the arena. Side note: Do you think D.J. Khaled knew that song would be immortalized in sports arenas? Seriously, will that song ever go out of style? Anyway, Bradley is in the ring. Not much of a reaction to his entrance, either.
ROUND 1: Pacquiao the aggressor, coming forward in the southpaw style with straight right hands. Bradley responds with a good body shot that Pacquiao acknowledges with a nod. Good straight right by Bradley. Another good counter body shot by Bradley. Pacquiao is not as active as Freddie Roach probably wants him to be. Another straight righ hand from Bradley. Pacquiao counters with a hard hook to the body. Close round. Bradley landed the cleaner shots. 10-9, Bradley
ROUND 2: Pacquiao rushes Bradley, knocks him off balance with a push. Bradley continues to flick the jab. Pacquiao misses with a left hook. Pacquiao connects with a brutal straight right hand. Again, another power shot from Pacquiao bacjs Bradley up. Pacquiao coming forward fast now. Bradley pushes back, is slugging it out with Pacquiao in the middle of the ring. Bradley looks unfazed by the assault. Good straight right by Bradley backs Manny up. Nice rally by Bradley, but a good round for Pacquiao. 10-9 Pacquiao
ROUND 3: Bradley lands a clean shot to the jaw. Pacquiao counters. They are brawling now. Bradley seems perfectly willing to stand and trade. Their heads are coming dangerously close. Head butts have been a problem for Bradley in the past. Bradley with a hard right hand to the head. Another clips Manny’s jaw. Bradley coming forward now. Manny responds with a strong combination to the body. Manny flurries but Bradley’s good head movement keeps him out of harms way. Another close round but give it to the aggressor, Bradley. 10-9, Bradley
ROUND 4: It feels like Manny is missing chances to hurt Bradley. Bradley has been wilder than usual, but Manny has missed or ignored openings. Bradley continues to try to apply pressure. Manny responds with his own. Hard right to Manny’s head by Bradley. That got Manny’s attention. Manny looks a little tired. He’s not as active as he wanted to be. Bradley continues to apply pressure. Wings a right hand that misses, connects on another. A good round for Bradley. 10-9 Bradley
ROUND 5: Manny lands a nice combination to Bradley’s head. Bradley taps Manny with a looping left hand. Another good combination to Bradley’s head for Manny. Hard right hand by Bradley lands flush. Another right catches Manny clean. Manny comes forward, glances Bradley with a three-punch combination. Another close round, but give it to Manny. 10-9 Pacquiao
ROUND 6: Given how both Manny and Bradley come careening in, it’s surprising there have been no head butts yet. Pacquiao probes, looking for an opening. Pushes Bradley back. Pace has slowed a little. Both fighters trying to stay out of each others range. Bradley misses with a wild hook. Good left by Manny. Manny pushes Bradley to the ropes and unleashes multiple combinations, but Bradley’s movement keeps most of them from connecting. Manny was more aggressive, so give this round to him. 10-9 Pacquiao
ROUND 7 Bradley comes out aggressive, pushes Manny back with combinations. Manny continues to work that hard jab. A nice combination catches Bradley, knocks him off balance. Hard right by Bradley. Bradley’s evasiveness is obviously a problem for Manny. Manny just can’t find that range. Right hand by Bradley clips Manny’s head. Manny doing a nice job this round of moving in and out of danger. A huge flurry by Manny catches Bradley on the ropes. Bradley waving Manny towards him, wants to fight out of the corner! Manny continues to attack. Clearest round to score. Give it to Manny. 10-9, Pacquiao
ROUND 8: Crowd continues to chant for Manny. Bradley lands a stinging left jab. Manny lands a right. Bradley taunts Manny, shaking his head at him. Bradley dances a little in the ring. Bradley swings and misses. Bradley taps Manny twice on the head during a clinch. Crowd boos. Bradley continues to taunt. At this point, if Bradley loses he is going to regret perhaps giving some of these middle rounds away. I'll give that one to Bradley though. Did a little more than Manny. 10-9 Bradley
ROUND 9: Both men exchange left hands. Manny knocks Bradley off balance with a left and does it again. Bradley stumbles into the ropes. Referee believes it was a slip, which it probably was. Nice right hand from Manny . He seems to be picking up steam this round. Bradley is not defending his head much. Relying on movement to make Manny miss. Bradley is not putting together many combinations this round. Manny's punches may be taking a toll. Give the 9th to Manny. 10-9, Pacquiao
ROUND 10: Word filtering that Bradley may have hurt his hand. Would explain some of his inactivity the last few rounds. Nice left by Manny clips Bradley on the chin. Hard left catches Bradley again. Manny pushes Bradley to the corner. Bradley responds with a hard shot that backs Manny up. Not a lot of clean punches landed there. Give it to Manny. 10-9, Pacquiao
ROUND 11: Bradley drills Manny with a hard right to the head. Manny continues to push Bradley back. Flurries in the corner. Bradley escapes. Bradley fighting exclusively on his heels this round. Have to wonder if that hand is an issue. Bradley is just flicking the jab, refusing to unleash that right hand. Good straight right by Manny. Bradley continues to run. Terrible round for Bradley. 10-9 Pacquiao
ROUND 12: Bradley continues to protect his right hand. Pacquiao lands a strong combination. Bradley looks hurt and winded. Manny pokes at Bradley with the jab. The action slows. Bradley isn't connecting with much of anything. Decent body attack by Bradley. A head butt catches Manny, opens a cut on his cheek. Doctors check it out. They give him the OK. Bradley flurries, tries to finish strong. Closer round than it looked at the beginning. Give it to Bradley. 10-9, Bradley
10:11 pm It's a unanimous decision win for Pacquiao. 116-112 (twice). 117-111. SI.com scored the fight 115-113 for Pacquiao.
-- Chris Mannix