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1:25 AM ET
Dan Rafael
ESPN Senior Writer


LAS VEGAS -- If this was truly Manny Pacquiao's final fight, as he has said it would be, he went out with a near-vintage performance.

He knocked rival Timothy Bradley Jr. down twice, in the seventh and ninth rounds, and cruised to a unanimous decision in their welterweight fight Saturday night before 14,665 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

In the best fight of their trilogy, Pacquiao, perhaps bringing down the curtain on his legendary 21-year career, won going away, 116-110 on all three judges' scorecards. ESPN.com also scored it for Pacquiao, 117-109.

Pacquiao (58-6-2, 38 KOs), 37, rebounded nicely from last May's unanimous decision loss to Floyd Mayweather in their megafight, which was followed by surgery to repair a torn right rotator cuff.

"I was looking for a knockout in every round," Pacquiao said. "He's a very tough fighter and a very good counterpuncher. Bradley is a good boxer, a great fighter and a good man. It was not easy tonight [but] my right shoulder was fine. It gave me no problems."

Pacquiao officially won the trilogy 2-1. Bradley was awarded a hugely controversial split decision when they met for the first time in 2012. Pacquiao appeared to dominate that fight and then got a unanimous decision in their 2014 rematch, which he also dominated. And then he dominated Bradley (33-2-1, 13 KOs), 32, of Palm Springs, California, again in fight No. 3.

"Manny was very strong in there. Very heavy punches. He was also very patient," said Bradley, who has won five world titles in two weight classes. "I wasn't professional enough to stay patient myself and I walked into shots."

Although Pacquiao, who likes Bradley and invited him to his Sunday prayer breakfast after the fight, looked sharp, he declared that he was indeed retiring.

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