It has been almost seven months since Manny Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38KO’s), the eight time world champion and current best pound for pound fighter in the world has fought in the circled square. His latest opponent is the undefeated Timothy Bradley (28-0, 12KO’s), for Pacquiao’s WBO Welterweight world title belt. The fight will be held at the MGM in the gambling capital of the world,
That being said and amidst all the speculation about Pacquio’s last poor performance in his third fight against Juan Manuel Marquez (54-6-1, 39KO’s), Pacquiao must win and win by knockout. Another close decision and the questions will surely rise to the forefront. Marquez by no coincidence, plans to be ringside to watch the fight, in anticipation of a fourth fight between he and Pacquiao but that is meaningless and all fight fans would be bored with it. Although Pacquiao did not perform as well as he could, true boxing fans know, if you want to defeat the champion, you better either win every round conclusively or knock him out. Neither of these things happened and that is that.
As far as the undefeated Bradley is concerned, the only chance he has is if Pacquiao gets cramps in his legs and is distracted as much as he was when he fought Marquez. Those distractions included many, including his wife threatening to leave him, right before the fight. If anything, you would think he would use that as motivation and take it out on his opponent. Somehow he didn’t take my advice and one can only wonder what was the problem that night. Nevertheless, if you saw Pacquiao’s fight against Joshua Clottey, you are going to think it is the same fight on Saturday night. Despite all the talk that Bradley and his camp have been saying, when Bradley starts getting hit from angles he has never seen and has to handle the relentless aggression from Pacquiao, he will more than likely go into “Clottey mode.” And that is, cover up and survive to tell your friends and family that you went twelve rounds with one of the best fighters ever. Bradley may be undefeated but that means nothing against a fighter like Pacquiao and after this fight, he will have a one on his record. And that goes for the other undefeated ducking fighter, who happens to be in JAIL, NOT “PRISON,” as so many people can’t seem to understand.
Although Pacquiao carried such opponents as Shane Mosley (46-8-1, 39KO’s), who recently retired and the much heavier and taller Antonio Margarito (38-8, 27KO‘s), who also retired today, and who also stopped Miguel Cotto (37-3, 30KO‘s) in the 12th round, this time he plans on making a statement. And although he has changed his lifestyle, according to his trainer Freddie Roach, every round will be won by Pacquiao or a knockout will be had. Although all trainers are convinced their fighters will win, I tend to agree with Roach. And that is, because Bradley has never fought a fighter of the caliber of Pacquiao and he has certainly never fought a southpaw like the Pacman. According to Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach, he said “There is a difference in Pacquiao, he doesn’t come to training tired every day like he used to. And according to Pacquiao, he said, “I’m happy and excited and very determined to work hard in training every day,’’ “There are no more distractions.”
In recent days, Bradley has said that he made sure that there would be a rematch clause for himself and Pacquiao after he wins against him. In Wednesday‘s press conference he amused Pacquiao and the crowd on hand with an enlarged boxing ticket with the date of November 10, 2012, the supposed scheduled date for Pacquiao‘s next opponent. Unfortunately for him, that will never happen and he will go on as just another opponent defeated by the best in the business. In addition to that, Pacquiao has recently embraced Christianity and some have wondered, including Bob Arum if that would somehow make him weak. And According to Arum, Pacquiao’s pastor, Jerrick Soriano said, “there will be 10,000 angels behind every punch. And on the not so evangelical side, Freddie Roach said, “We’re going to kick his ass.”
Photo © Stacey Verbeek