It might not be the fight you want, but there are things to like about the Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley fight, which is all but signed, sealed and delivered for June 9 in Las Vegas.
ESPN’s Dan Rafael reports that the Pacquiao side is all good with their terms for the bout and that Top Rank is certain the Bradley team will sign off on their particulars in short order.
Pacquiao has taken some heat in certain circles for taking on boxers some deem quite past their primes, including Ricky Hatton, Antonio Margarito, Shane Mosley and Juan Manuel Marquez, in recent years. That can’t be said for Bradley; the 28 year-old Californian is 28-0, and should be at the peak of his form as an athlete. He has shown beyond-ample stamina as pro, and should push Pacman physically. That could prove a problem if indeed the Congressman’s best days after in the rear view mirror.
Some will say that this style matchup benefits Pacquiao, as Bradley isn’t a tricky type who makes a living off counterpunching, as Marquez does. But Manny is 33, and has felt it physically his last two bouts. He had leg cramps in the Mosley fight, and sustained cuts in his mouth and over his right eye. No, Bradley isn’t near the skill level of Marquez, but very few are. He tends to come in straight forward, and that is to Pacquiao’s advantage. He had trouble tracking down Mosley, and Bradley doesn’t have the elusiveness that Marquez has, not even close. Also, his power is nothing special at 140. Above that, it figures to be even less of a deterrent to Manny.
I’m saying here and now, though, that this could be an upset special, based mostly on Bradley’s volume, and the belief that Pacquiao's body is in the early to middle stages of turning on him. I wouldn’t bet an underwater mortgage on it, but the possibility is there. Readers, what say you?