Manny Pacquiao takes a decisive stance in beating Timothy Bradley

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Manny Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao celebrates after his unanimous decision victory over Timothy Bradley in their WBO welterweight championship match Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. (David Becker / Getty Images / April 13, 2014)

Bradley hotdogged again at the end of the sixth, and it became stranger and stranger as it became clearer and clearer that Pacquiao was winning the match.

The weirdness by Bradley continued in the seventh.

Again, Pacquiao appeared to score more and move better. But Bradley ended the round taunting Pacquiao again to come and get him. Twice Pacquiao did, peppering Bradley with eight- and nine-punch combinations.

In the eighth round, Bradley showboated more and it appeared the strategy from his corner was now to see if Pacquiao would punch himself out.

In the ninth, Bradley's right eye seemed to be swelling, the norm for most fighters against the lefty Pacquiao. At this point, it looked as if Bradley needed to win the last three rounds to have a chance.

By the 10th, Bradley looked spent and Pacquiao, clearly somewhat tired himself, kept firing away. Most ringside observers had it 98-91 at this point for Pacquiao, leaving Bradley's only chance a knockout.

The 12th and final round was more of the same, and appeared to be merely window dressing.

By the time the fight started at 9:21 Pacific time, well after midnight in the East — when anybody who had paid the $60 to see it on pay-per-view may have fallen asleep — the place was electric. Grammy award winner Ashanti's rendition of the national anthem had massive adrenaline flowing in the massive arena.

The late start was par for the course. The last important boxing match to start on time was probably Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling in 1938. The world runs by a clock. Boxing runs on boxing time.

Pacquiao paraded in to the sounds of "The Eye of the Tiger." Most tigers, of course, would have been sound asleep in the den by now.

As the reigning champion, Bradley walked in last and did so to some heavy rock music. Like Pacquiao, he looked composed and ready and undistracted by all the promotion's introductory noise and glitz.

But in the end, the journey continues and it is Pacquiao in the driver's seat.

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