Palm Springs boxing sensation Timothy Bradley appeared headed for a loss at the end of round 12 when ring announcer Michael Buffer announced a split decision by judges in favor of the 28-year-old undefeated fighter.
In the early rounds, Bradley actively pursued Pacquiao who immediately made adjustments in his game plan and began hitting Bradley with solid shots in the middle to late rounds.
Bradley was visibly hurt and shaken in the middle rounds but Pacquiao failed to score a knockdown.
Pacquiao and his corner, along with thousands of people in the audience, were visibly shocked at the result of judges scoring which favored Bradley.
Judges CJ Ross and Duane Ford scored the fight at 115-113 in favor of Bradley while judge Jerry Roth had it at 115-113 in favor of Pacquiao.
Promoter Bob Arum said the judges do not know how to score, referring to the fight statistics which say Pacquiao deliver more accurate punches.
Arum, who promotes both fighters, had congratulated Bradley for winning the fight.
In the post-fight interview, Pacquiao said he clearly won the fight but he said he respects the judges decision.
"I accept what the result is," Pacquiao said ringside. "I respect the judges, I cannot blame them. It is a part of the game. I give thanks to the Lord. I do my best but my best wasn't good enough."
For his part, Bradley said he took the early rounds but he acknowledged Pacquiao rocked him a couple of times in the later rounds.
"It was a good, competitive fight," said Bradley. "Every round was pretty close. Pacquiao won some of the early rounds. I controlled the later rounds with my jab. I need to go home and review the tape."
"He is a strong puncher. He rocked me a couple of times in the fight but I held my ground and fought to the end. This is boxing."
In their fight contract, Pacquiao has an exclusive option for an immediate rematch but Arum said he does not know yet if Pacquiao will take the option.
A rematch will likely take place in November in a venue to be announced later.