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Pacquiao avenges loss to Bradley, regains welterweight championship

By Chris Cozzone and Butch Gottlieb at ringside
Photos: Rafael Soto/Zanfer

In a rematch of their controversial June 2012 fight, Manny Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KOs) clearly won a twelve round unanimous decision over previously unbeaten WBO welterweight world champion Timothy Bradley (31-1, 12 KOs) on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. After a close round one, Pacquiao landed several hard punches in round two. The bout opened up in an exciting round three with Pacquiao again having the edge. Bradley staggered Pacquiao momentarily in round four. The pace slowed in rounds five and six, but Pacquiao had some moments of sustained punches in round seven. Pacquiao outworked Bradley and landed the better punches for the rest of the fight. Pacman was cut over the left eye by a headbutt in the last 30 seconds. Scores were 116-112, 116-112, 118-110.

In a clash for the vacant NABO lightweight title, Ray Beltran (29-6-1, 17 KOs) won a tough, gritty twelve round unanimous decision over Arash Usmanee (20-2-1, 10 KOs). Usmanee, who came in as a late replacement for Rocky Martinez, got off to a good start, but Beltran began to wear him down as the bout progressed. Scores were 118-110, 117-111, 117-111.

Unbeaten super welterweight Jessie Vargas (24-0, 9 KOs) scored a hard fought and close twelve round unanimous decision over previously unbeaten WBA interim champion Khabib Allakhverdiev (19-1, 9 KOs). Scores were 115-113, 115-113 and 117-111. Allakhverdiev suffered a bad cut over the left eye midway, but the fight could have gone either way.

WBA interim super featherweight champion Bryan Vasquez (34-1, 17 KOs) retained his title against previously unbeaten Jose Felix Jr (26-1-1, 21 KOs). Felix Jr., a big pre-fight favorite, never got untracked as Vasquez outworked him. Felix was deducted a point for using his knee in round nine. Vasquez continued to pull away down the stretch and won by scores of 117-110, 114-113, 114-113. The point deduction made the difference.

In his pro debut, Olympian light heavyweight bronze medalist Oleksandr Gvozdyk knocked out Mike Montoya (4-3-1, 2 KOs) with a lethal combination at 2:55 of the first round.

Two-time Mexican Olympian Oscar Valdez (10-0, 9 KOs) scored an impressive fourth round KO over Adrian Perez (10-5-1, 1 KO) to claim the NABF super featherweight “junior” title. Valdez dealt a tremendous amount of punishment to Perez before a body shot to the liver ended the fight. Time was 1:23 of round four. Valdez will next fight on the Marquez-Alvarado undercard on May 17th at the LA Forum.

Olympic middleweight silver medalist Esquiva Falcao (2-0, 1 KO) looked sharp as he outclassed Pubilo Pena (2-1, 1 KO) over six rounds. Scores were 60-54, 60-54, 60-53.

In the opening bout, unbeaten light heavyweight Sean Monaghan (21-0, 14 KOs) stopped Joe McCreedy (15-7-2, 6 KOs) in round five to retain his WBC Continetal Americas title. McCreedy was down twice in the fifth. Monaghan will return June 14 on the Provodnikov-Algieri card on Long Island.

Photos below by Rafael Soto/Zanfer




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