Pacquiao vs Bradley – In the Shadow of Mayweather

Manny Pacquiao facing Timothy Bradley is a big fight, but everyone knows this is a concession for Pacquiao and for fight fans in general. What he really would have wanted, according to him, is facing Floyd Mayweather for the biggest bout of all time in terms of cash.

Instead, it’s ‘only’ a guaranteed $26 million and more, depending on the PPV money. For Timothy Bradley, who’s walking around with the feeling that he deserved this kind of fight, this kind of respect, this kind of money. He’ll be getting $5 million just for showing up, by far his biggest pay check to date.

And is Bradley the man to upset Manny Pacquiao? To hand him his first defeat since 2005? On paper, why not? Bradley, unlike everyone else Pacquiao has faced in recent years, is in his prime, at 28, undefeated, with only 28 fights behind him. He’s 28-0 obviously, winning  three title Light Welterweight title belts up till now. He won his previous fight in welterweight, and it shouldn’t be much of a difference for him.

More so, Bradley is probably just as fast as Pacquiao is, with his hands and with his feet. He doesn’t fight pretty. He uses his head as a battering ram to get him close where he simply swarms his opponent with jabs and close shots. He isn’t here to pick up the money and lay back while Pacquiao cruises to a decision victory (Shane Mosley). But his style might be the best thing for Freddie Roach and Pac-Man camp.

Manny Pacquiao hasn’t won by knockout since beating Miguel Cotto more than two years ago. He didn’t impress anyone by barely scraping by Juan Manuel Marquez, a match many think Marquez deserved to win on the scorecard. He has had cramping problems late in his last two fights. His conditioning coach left camp early to train Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Pacquiao, according to all of this, is on the decline.

But many think that being more devoted to god and religion has made Pacquiao, eventually, more focused. He might be looking to end his incredible boxing career sooner than later, but he’s got less distractions to get in the way of his preparations and training, something that might have occurred in the build ups to recent fights. He has looked great in training, according to those willing to testify.

And here comes the style problem for Bradley. Pacquiao lives to fight boxers who are looking to hit. Timothy Bradley isn’t a hard man to hit as well. He usually just out works opponents, but it’s hard to see him out working Pacquiao. Especially when he has quite an inferiority in the power department, winning only 12 of his fights by knockout. Bradley isn’t a counter puncher like Marquez, who also had two fights of experience when he stepped in the ring with Pacquiao last November.

Can Bradley upset Manny Pacquiao? There’s always a chance, and Bradley might have a batter chance of doing it than all those who were offered to fight Manny back in February, when everyone was debating who he and Floyd Mayweather will fight. But despite being an excellent fighter, the general feeling is that Bradley doesn’t have enough to beat a focused Pacquiao. Great speed and ring intelligence won’t be enough when he faces a fighter like no one he’s ever faced before.

And not too far away will be Floyd Mayweather, who said he won’t be watching this fight. According to rumors, he’s looking to get a deal signed with Manny Pacquiao for November. If not Manny, then Sergio Martinez. One thing worth mentioning is this – If Pacquiao does lose to Bradley, there’s the November rematch Bradley is already saying (via trash-talk antics) will happen. A loss to Bradley, and we might see the door finally shut on Mayweather vs Pacquaio.

Image: Source