At age 35, the Pinoy Idol not only whipped "Desert Storm," he also won a bout with doubt, amidst rampant speculation as to whether someone should stick a fork in his meteoric ring career.
I may be mixing metaphors quicker than Pacman's rapid-fire combinations of Saturday night at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas but you get the Pacquiao point.
Opinion around boxing was somewhat mixed before Megamanny looked rejuvenated in capturing the WBO welterweight crown from the erratic Bradley.
Some said Pacman was all shot, others settled for half-shot and they offered constant reminders of how career megarival Juan Manuel Marquez starched him, sent him to dreamland with a one punch knockout.
Knockouts happen, especially when you fight aggressively as Pacman at his offensive best does.
So, dear cynics, how to explain why Bradley, wheezing and winging wide punches like an overserved patron in a barroom brawl, appeared to be the 35-year-old while the grizzled Manny was sharp and focused throughout their 36-minute ring recital?
It's horses for courses, I keep telling you. Not to diminish Bradley, he's a better than average fighter but, compared to Pacquiao, he's Class B going head to head against Class A. Having said that, Bradley will still be a lesser force on the Top Rank Wonder Wheel of opponents. We might keep in mind this was his first pro loss in 32 fights, perspective they call it.
(Mandatory caveat: I think, after the last six or seven years of mastubatory fistic fantasies, we can skip over the delusionary remarks, the what ifs, of Floyd Mayweather Jr. facing the Congressman from Sarangani Province...if you must know, "Money" wins that matchup every night and twice on Sunday but it does not matter.)
Bradley, grapsing for invisble straws, verbally pounced on Pacman in the prefight runup, alleging that the Filipino no longer had that necessary "fire in the belly" or "killer instinct" for his better paying profession.
Ironically, it was the younger man who looked like a lost soul at key points over the 12 rounds. Not that Bradley wasn't making fierce facial expressions, he did that, but his showboating was plain silly.
Finally, a big fight where we need no endless debate about how the judges marked it. I had it 118-111, calling the uneventful opening round even and then seeing Bradley only gaining a 10-9 margin in rounds four, 11 and 12.
So none can whine about the 118-110 official's tally or the two 116-112 scorecards. Three judges got it right which proves it's who is judging and not where they are judging that truly matters.
Pacquiao is back on track for more $20 million paynights and you can line up Juan Ma, Ruslan Provodnikov and one or two others before he finally Pacs it in, so to speak.
He doesn't need Mayweather and Mayweather doesn't need him.
Mayweather is the world's premier welterweight but, let's face it, they are still Coke and Pepsi, Hertz and Avis as boxing brands.
This is one grudge match you can schedule for the 12th (of Neveruary).
Meanwhile, Pacman is back on the beam and that is a good thing.