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    Manny Pacquiao vs Timothy Bradley 4-9-2016


    LAS VEGAS (AP) He returns to a familiar place, with an equally familiar opponent. Manny Pacquiao is taking no chances when he meets Timothy Bradley in what could be the last fight of his remarkable career.

    There's chatter in the background about a possible rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr., though that appears very unlikely. Their hugely hyped fight last May was a dud, and Mayweather has shown no interest - at least publicly - in changing his mind about retirement.

    Pacquiao could be headed there himself, even if he beats Bradley in the rubber match of their series. He's running for the Senate in the Philippines, a job that takes far more time than his current position of congressman in his native country, and polls make him a favorite in next month's election.

    Pacquiao might solidify his position in the polls with a win over Bradley in Saturday night's welterweight fight at the MGM Grand, where he met Mayweather last May. Everyone loves a winner, though Pacquiao is already beloved by most people in the Philippines as the biggest sports hero the country has ever had.

    Indeed, Bradley said he would be in Pacquiao's corner if he had a vote.

    ''He's shown over and over that he is for the people and by the people and that he's a man of his word,'' Bradley said. ''He's always shown that character and that integrity and I think he's the right man for the job.''

    Pacquiao has waffled about whether this is his last fight, saying he still loves boxing but his family wants him to retire. Trainer Freddie Roach said he believes Pacquiao has benefited from a year's rest after the Mayweather fight and can go on at the age of 37, even though he hasn't scored a knockout since 2009.

    ''He hasn't slowed down at all,'' Roach said. ''He still has a couple fights left in him.''

    Pacquiao weighed in Friday afternoon at 145 1/2 pounds to 146 1/2 for Bradley. The welterweight limit is 147 pounds.

    Pacquiao is guaranteed $7 million - a far cry from the $100 million or so he got to fight Mayweather - to meet Bradley again in a pay-per-view fight that is struggling to get noticed. With good reason, because there's still a hangover from the Mayweather fight and he and Bradley have already fought 24 mostly non-descript rounds.

    ''He will be remembered as one of the best fighters who ever put on the gloves,'' Bradley said. ''But I'm a different fighter than I was in the first two fights.''

    Bradley won the first of those fights on a highly controversial decision, then faded in the later rounds to lose the second bout. He says he is rejuvenated under new trainer Teddy Atlas, the longtime ESPN broadcaster who he convinced to return to boxing to train him.

    ''Having Teddy is like having a cheat sheet. He analyzes fights,'' Bradley said. ''This fight will be fought differently. I'm going to be a lot smarter than I was the first two fights.''

    Pacquiao is a 2-1 favorite in his return to the ring, which comes after shoulder surgery and a long rest in the Philippines. The winner of titles in eight weight classes - the first one coming 17 years ago at 112 pounds - he hasn't had a knockout since 2009 though he was on the receiving end of one when he lost to Juan Manuel Marquez.

    ''I feel it's good that I had a long layoff,'' said Pacquiao, who began his pro career as a 16-year-old in 1995 in the Philippines. ''It makes me hungry again, makes me fresher.''

    Not feeling quite as good is promoter Bob Arum, who has struggled to sell the fight. There were tickets widely available in the days leading up to the bout, and pay-per-view projections have been scaled down.

    Mayweather had trouble selling his last fight, too, drawing relatively meager pay-per-view numbers for what most considered a non-competitive bout against Andre Berto. The low numbers for both fighters indicate fans are suffering from hangover from buying the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight.

    Arum has tried to generate more interest by trumpeting a ''No Trump'' undercard of mostly Hispanic fighters he said will strike a blow for immigrants.

    ''My Hispanic army is marching,'' Arum said.

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    LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Manny Pacquiao may not be ready for retirement just quite yet.

    Pacquiao returned from the biggest loss of his career with a bang Saturday night, knocking down Timothy Bradley twice on his way to a unanimous 12-round decision in their welterweight showdown.

    Pacquiao shook off the ring rust from a layoff of nearly a year after losing to Floyd Mayweather Jr. to beat Bradley for a second time in the rubber match between the two fighters. In doing so, the Senate candidate in his native Philippines showed he may have to reconsider his plans to retire and devote his full time to politics.

    Pacquiao (58-6-2) knocked down Bradley (33-2-1) in the seventh round, though Bradley seemed to have slipped. He left no doubt in the ninth with a big left hand that sent Bradley sprawling.

    The fight was scored 116-110 by all three ringside judges. The Associated Press had it 117-110.

    In the final seconds, many in the crowd of 14,665 at the MGM Grand arena were on their feet chanting "Manny! Manny!" as Pacquiao tried to end the bout with a flourish. He never came close to finishing off Bradley, though he was so far ahead on the ringside scorecards that it didn't matter.

    If the fight was indeed the end of the 37-year-old Pacquiao's career, it was a remarkable one. Aside from the loss to Mayweather last year he did little wrong in winning eight weight class titles in 21 years as a pro.


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    Canelo Alvarez stops Amir Khan in 6th round.

    Associated Press

    11 hrs ago

    LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Canelo Alvarez got on his knees to check on Amir Khan after knocking him unconscious with a big right hand in the sixth round of their title fight.

    Then he went over to check on some future business with fellow middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin, who was watching ringside.

    "I invited him to come into the ring," Alvarez said. "Right now I will put the gloves on again."

    It's a fight both Golovkin and boxing fans have been waiting for to happen, though the weight could be an issue. Alvarez wants the bout to be less than the 160-pound middleweight limit, while Golovkin, who holds his own piece of the middleweight crown, vows to fight at his best weight.

    "I am old school," Golovkin said just before the fight. "Middleweight is 160. I respect the sport of boxing."

    Against Khan, Alvarez needed only one big right hand to turn a close fight into a smashing knockout that left the British challenger out cold on his back in the middle of the ring.

    Struggling with Khan's speed, Alvarez unleashed a long right hand that send Khan backward on the canvas, where referee Kenny Bayless didn't even bother to count him out at 2:37 of the sixth round.

    Alvarez retained his piece of the middleweight title, but it was not without some nervous moments for his fans who packed the new T-Mobile Arena on the Las Vegas Strip. Khan was more than holding his own in a tactical fight when the right hand suddenly ended it.

    "People have known me only for my power," Alvarez said. "I have many more qualities in the ring and I showed that. I think people saw more of me."

    Khan, a 6-1 underdog, had vowed to use his speed to confound Alvarez and his plan seemed to be working. He fought in spurts, landing combinations and seemingly frustrating Alvarez with his movement.

    But a right hand that came out of nowhere landed flush against Khan's chin, and he was out before he hit the canvas.

    "I was getting in the ring with a big guy," Khan said. "Unfortunately, I didn't make it to the end."

    Khan was taken to the hospital after the fight, but promoter Oscar De La Hoya said he appeared to be fine and that the move was precautionary. Khan's head snapped back when he hit the canvas and he appeared out for several minutes before being revived.

    Alvarez was making the first defense of the WBC title he won from Miguel Cotto in November, though the fight was fought at a catch weight of 155 pounds. The WBC has said it will take the tile from Alvarez if he does not begin talks for a fight with Golovkin within 15 days.

    "I don't fear anyone," Alvarez said. "We don't come to play in this sport."

    Khan, for one, believes it's a fight that has to happen, and soon.

    "I think it's time that Canelo steps in the ring with Triple G," Khan said.

    A pro-Alvarez crowd of 16,540 filled the new arena on the Las Vegas Strip for his first fight on the Mexican holiday weekend that Floyd Mayweather Jr. usually fought on. They came expecting to see Alvarez (47-1-1, 33 knockouts) put on a show, though he had trouble with Khan's speed and movement in the early rounds.

    Alvarez chased after Khan (31-4) from the first round on, trying to cut the ring off and corner him on the ropes. He was largely unsuccessful, and Khan answered with combinations to the head, though they seemed to have little effect on the red-haired Mexican champion.

    Alvarez was up on two ringside judges' scorecards when the fight ended, while Khan was leading by one point on the third. Ringside punch stats showed Khan landing 48 of 166 punches to 64 of 170 for Alvarez.

    Khan, who spent years unsuccessfully chasing bouts with Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, had to put on weight for Alvarez but was still the smaller fighter.

    "I'm a natural 147-pounder and this challenge came and it was hard to turn down," Khan said. "My natural weight is 147 and I will probably go back down to that."

    Khan's trainer, Virgil Hunter, joined in the chorus of those who want to see Alvarez and Golovkin fight soon.

    "He's got to stop hiding behind the flag and fight the fight that we all want to see," Hunter said of Alvarez.


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