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Manny Pacquiao avenges loss to Bradley

LAS VEGAS -- Manny Pacquiao avenged a polarizing loss to Timothy Bradley and regained the World Boxing Organization welterweight world title Saturday with a 12-round unanimous decision over the previously unbeaten American.

The Filipino ring icon improved to 56-5 with two drawn and 38 wins inside the distance as he recaptured the title he lost to Bradley on June 9, 2012.

Although he couldn't get his first knockout win since 2009, Pacquiao lived up to his pre-fight promise to come out with more aggression, denying Bradley's avowed aim of sending him into retirement with another defeat.

“I think I can go another two years,” said Pacquiao, who had been stung by Bradley's pre-fight claim that at 35, Pacquiao had lost the fire that had made him one of the most feared fighters in the world.

“I'm so happy to be world champion again,” Pacquiao said. “Tim Bradley was not an easy fight.”

Bradley, who said he fought from the first round with a right calf injury, fell to 31-1, with 12 knockouts.

“Life goes on,” Bradley said of his first pro defeat. “It's back to the gym. Not a big deal.”

Judge Glenn Trowbridge scored the bout 118-110 for Pacquiao, while both Michael Pernick and Canada's Craig Metcalf saw it 116-112 for the “Pacman,” whose every move was cheered by the star-studded crowd of 15,601 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

After a tight first round, Pacquiao made his power felt in the second.

The third saw both fighters exchange at a furious rate, Pacquiao again landing the more damaging blows.

But Bradley rocked Pacquiao in the fourth, and Pacquiao said California's “Desert Storm” was an improved fighter from the one who took that bitterly debated split decision in their first fight.

Even the WBO said upon review that Pacquiao should have won that fight on June 9, 2012.

Instead he saw a 15-match fight winning streak end, and went on to be knocked out later in 2012 by Juan Manuel Marquez.

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Manny Pacquiao, left, of the Philippines, trades blows with Timothy Bradley in their WBO welterweight title boxing fight on Saturday, April 12. (AP)

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