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THE BREAKDOWN: Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley

BY Lee Wylie ON June 04, 2012
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PacquiaoBradleyLAPC Blevins9THE FIGHT:

Manny Pacquiao Versus Timothy Bradley, Saturday, June 9
At the MGM Grand Garden, Las Vegas, on HBO pay per view and Primetime {UK}
12 rounds, for Pacquiao's WBO welterweight title {147 pounds}


STATISTICS:

                 Manny Pacquiao                                        Timothy Bradley
                        33                            Age                              28
              General Santos City         Hometown              Palm Springs, California
                     Filipino                   Nationality                    American
                  Jan 22, 1995               Pro debut                   Aug 20, 2004
                    54-3-2 {38}                Record                          28-0 {12}
                    5ft 6 1/2ins                 Height                           5ft 6ins
                       67ins                       Reach                             69ins
                     Southpaw                  Stance                         Orthodox
                        353                     Rounds boxed                    194
                         64%                       KO rate                           41%
                         38%                 Connect rate                        33%
                         27%           Opponent's connect rate           25%
                         +11                     Compubox +/-                  +8
                          n/a               Common opponents                 n/a


                                           Previous five opponents
  W MD 12 Juan Manuel Marquez                                 W TKO 8 Joel Casamayor
  W UD 12 Shane Mosley                                             W TD 10 Devon Alexander
  W UD 12 Antonio Margarito                                       W UD 12 Luis Carlos Abregu
  W UD 12 Joshua Clottey                                            W UD 12 Lamont Peterson
  W TKO 12 Miguel Cotto                                              NC 3 Nate Campbell
                                         
                         ***1/2      Recent opposition quality    ***
                                       
                        ****1/2     Career opposition quality     ***
 
 
 
STYLE, STRATEGY AND SHOT SELECTION:


Manny Pacquiao:
Considered by most to be boxing's premier offensive fighter -- No longer the one-handed searcher of his featherweight days, has now evolved into a dynamic ring stylist--Is able to counter, stalk or employ stick and move tactics depending on the opponent at hand -- Athleticism and reflexes compliment his excellent coordination and balance -- His potent combination of speed, power and explosiveness may be unrivaled in the modern game -- Rapier left hand remains his most sinister weapon --Counter right hook from the southpaw stance is also dangerous --Prefers to utilize the jab as more of a decoy before launching an attack -- Lateral and upper-body movement along with added patience and a far less deliberate approach have made him tougher to hit -- Despite the steep rise in weight, his chin remains formidable -- Brilliant at feinting an opponent out of position -- His uncanny ability to string five-or six punches together which are thrown in unpredictable patterns,from unconventional angles and with great speed,equates to him being one of the most effective combination punchers around -- Outstanding multi-dimensional footwork that allows him to drift in and out, and around his opponent is arguably his greatest asset.

Other Issues:
Is his hunger and desire still once what it was? Will his leg cramps continue to be a problem? Are recent poor showings the result of erosion in a 33 year-old fighter who relies heavily on physical gifts?


Timothy Bradley:
Tremendously versatile,is able to fight from the outside or at close quarters --Short, stocky and muscular, he is right at home either by taking the lead and pressurizing or by laying back and countering --Solid technical skills --Often the smaller man, his exceptional timing allows him to outbox taller opponents -- Makes up for lack of knockout power with volume, grit and a willingness to take risks and trade--Good combination puncher -- Has an excellent overhand right -- Determination and hunger are possibly second to none --Quick reflexes -- Can sometimes become reckless when throwing his counter left hook -- Possesses an accurate, rapid fire jab -- Very good body puncher -- Lack of height and tucked in chin makes for a small, difficult to hit target -- Phenomenal conditioning and stamina -- Recovers fast when hit -- Hand and footspeed are vastly underrated -- Has been accused of head butting his opponents throughout his career. <br >
Other Issues:
Will he be out of his depth facing one of boxing's consensus top two? Can he fight effectively at 147 pounds having only fought there just once before? With only 12 knockouts on his record, a win inside the distance seems unlikely....Can he secure a decision against, who is quite possibly,boxing's most marketable commodity?


THE SCENARIO:

Make no mistake about it, this is a very tough fight for Manny Pacquiao. For the first time since his featherweight campaign, Manny will be facing an opponent in Timothy Bradley, who is young, skilled,athletic and in his prime. He is also undefeated and hungry. Simply put, unless we see a Manny Pacquiao who is firing on all cylinders on June 9th, it's a fight he could wind up losing. Ever since the fight was first announced, I've had my doubts. I believe that Top Rank -and Pacquiao for that matter- made a questionable decision in choosing Bradley as their next opponent. Tim Bradley is the stereotypical young and hungry fighter who is regularly avoided by other top fighters -I'm reminded of Clubber Lang in the movie "Rocky 3" . Men like Charley Burley, Aaron Pryor, Mike McCallum and Mark Johnson-high risk with little reward-were never granted their day in the sun against boxing's best whilst being in their primes.Bradley's wish is Pacquiao's command. It is my belief that Pacquiao's representatives view Bradley as a Ricky Hatton-type fighter -a one-dimensional reckless aggressor- who is going to allow their prized asset to get back on the knockout trail on June 9th, without posing much of a risk due to his low knockout rate. If this is indeed the case, they are sorely mistaken.

Despite Pacquiao being the clear betting favourite, I believe Bradley possesses the kind attributes and experience to pull off the upset.Bradley is five years younger than Pacquiao.Bradley will be undoubtedly, the fastest fighter -both of hand and foot- that Pacquiao has ever faced.Bradley can fight effectively in close or at range.Bradley can lead or counter. Bradley is also aware of what problems are presented when faced with a southpaw -he has faced no fewer than ten, including a switch-hitting Junior Witter, throughout his career,which is a vast percentage of his 28 fights.

A quick glance of the above illuminates the essential ingredient to Bradley's chances. Versatility. Tim Bradley,like Andre Ward, is a boxing chameleon.Look at his fights with Alexander, Abregu and Peterson, you will see a different tactical approach from Bradley in each. He is also capable of adjusting and adapting throughout a fight, something quite frankly, no Pacquiao opponent has been capable of doing other than Erik Morales back in 2005, who remains to this day, the only man to defeat Pacquiao beyond doubt on American land.

Manny Pacquiao, just like Floyd Mayweather, can be beat.

If we look at Pacquiao's welterweight opponents up until the Shane Mosley bout -De La Hoya to Antonio Margarito- they all fought Pacquiao the same way -standing right there in front of him. Pacquiao's ability to feint, step around and attack is too much for static fighters. Pacquiao's handspeed rates very high, but his mobility is the foundation of his attack. His superb footwork allows him to create punching angles on offense and enables him to evade counters on defense. Pacquiao's offense is his defense. Pacquiao's fluidity around the ring is the reason flat footed fighters, particularly larger ones, get caught up in an offensive storm. It's why all of Pacquiao's opponent's share the same downfall -they don't see his punches coming.

Against Floyd Mayweather and Sergio Mora, Shane Mosley fought flat-footed. Against Pacquiao, we saw something different. When Shane got knocked down in the third round and then got up, Pacquiao -one of the better finishers in boxing- couldn't get to him. Yes, Mosley was hesitant to exchange, but he succeeded in keeping Manny from hitting him for much of the remainder of the fight -something no other welterweight Pacquiao opponent could muster.

So how did Mosley achieve this?

Simple, he remembered that he was fighting a southpaw and, unlike Pacquiao's previous opponents, remembered to get his lead foot outside of Pacquiao's lead foot. Mosley survived the rest of the fight by moving to his left and maintaining distance using the jab. This strategy was repeated with even better results during Pacquiao's next fight against Juan Manuel Marquez. Marquez however, unlike Mosley, is a natural counterpuncher. Marquez was able to constantly keep Manny off balance by moving to his left, feinting and landing with right hands from the outside. Both Mosley and Marquez were able to make Pacquiao fall short through subtle foot adjustments, but they both lacked the speed to get back into firing range after the evasive maneuver. Pacquiao is an ultra aggressive fighter who has an easier time with opponents who are aggressive like him. Mosley and Marquez were the opposite, they used Manny's aggression against him.

Just making Manny miss however, is not enough to win a fight. This is what, I believe, cost Marquez in his last attempt at trying to better Pacman. For me, the ultimate blueprint in derailing Manny Pacquiao lies within Erik Morales' work against him in 2005. Morales, like Mosley and Marquez, also realized he was facing a left handed fighter and kept moving to his left, away from the power hand. But what Morales was able to do differently, was to be aggressive at the right times -between Pacquiao ambushes. If you go back and view the fight, you will see Morales always staying out of range of Pacquiao's left hand. Everytime Pacquiao stepped to his left -Manny is unconventional in this regard- Morales stepped to his left. We were left with a visual of two fighters constantly circling clockwise around the ring. With Manny's left hand taken away, Morales, through his astute sense of timing, was able to catch Manny with double jabs and straight right hands over the top of his right shoulder. Morales always knew when to be aggressive and when to defend.

Many will argue that Manny is a different fighter now, that he is more complete. I agree. But he is still a southpaw, and I believe that Bradley, just like Morales and Marquez, knows how to deal with them. Going one step further, I believe if Bradley can get by the first few rounds -Pacquiao will likely land something substantial- then he could dominate the fight.

I believe Bradley is going to have the perfect strategy on June 9th, by using his defense to aid his offense. Bradley will be preparing his positioning to attack while defending. Like I mentioned earlier, I believe Top Rank are anticipating Bradley to come out like a bullet from a gun at the opening bell. Bradley is better than that.

Here is what I believe to be Timothy Bradley's strategy on June 9th:

~ Always move to the left and away from the left hand, keeping the lead foot outside of Manny's lead foot ~ As Manny falls short, fall in with a double jab, with a right hand behind it, Manny's response will be to either back up, or stand and trade, and if it's the latter, Bradley could wind up inside, where I believe Manny will be at a huge disadvantage in this fight ~ Always avoid the mid-range where Manny does his most dangerous work, stay on the outside where you can make him reach, or get right inside where you can exploit any inside weaknesses ~ Manny is a rhythm fighter, disrupt his rhythm with the jab, throw it in threes and fours to stop him countering, keep him from entering his range ~ Never charge in, wait until he's reaching, use your own footwork to step around and get inside that way, once there, work the body ~ remember the angle, circle left, jab as you rotate.

On the other hand, there are areas that Pacquiao can exploit. Bradley can sometimes get wild at the end of exchanges; if he opens up, Manny could catch him with his straight left hand down the middle. Bradley also likes to double up on his left hook -upstairs and down. When he throws it, he needs to maintain defensive responsibility as this is how Kendall Holt caught him during their bout. Bradley cannot afford to become over aggressive either. Against Ricky Hatton, Pacquiao's ability to side step the Briton's attacks and connect with an overhand left is what turned his lights out. Pacquiao also had success with his counter right hook as Hatton was steaming in. Manny Pacquiao possesses the type of explosive offense that, if an opponent is not one hundred percent focused, can end a fight early -there is the fear that Pacquiao,with his superior handspeed and power,will be able to overwhelm the smaller Bradley.

One thing we must pay attention to is Timothy Bradley's use of the head. Personally, I don't think it is his intention -as was claimed on Jim Lampley's Fight Game- to use the head in this way. Bradley is often the smaller fighter, who tucks in his chin to lower the risk of walking onto something as he advances. Pacquiao has been in this situation before. Against Agapito Sanchez in 2001, Pacquiao suffered two separate cuts from "accidental" headbutts. Both Pacquiao and Bradley dip low when they throw their power shots...let's hope this is not an issue on June 9th.


PREDICTION:

I've long said, that if Pacquiao and Mayweather ever decide to get into the ring with one another, then I would pick Pacquiao as the winner,based on his superior footspeed at this stage in their careers. Mayweather is a lot more stationary these days, relying more on his upper body movement as opposed to his legs. This is where Bradley differs from Mayweather. I actually believe that Bradley's foot speed is comparable to Manny's, which I think is key to the fight. Manny has the best A game in boxing, which is to come in with fast punches, then move off at a different angle. However,I'm not sure he can adjust during a fight if things are not going his way. For the first time since Erik Morales,I think Pacquiao is going to have to adapt to his opponent during a fight. If Bradley is able to avoid the Pacquiao mid-range and control the action at distance by keeping Manny off balance, and in close,by putting Manny on the back foot and smothering, then I think Manny will be in for one of the worst nights of his legendary career. I really do believe Bradley has everything going for him in this fight to get the job done. Youth, technique, speed, desire, determination, stamina, knowledge of fighting southpaws...you name it.

If Bradley can avoid a gun slinging contest, which I think he can by isolating Pacquiao with his feet,then use his footspeed and superior in-fighting skills to capitalize on Pacquiao falling short after reaching, then I don't think it matters that Pacquiao is the marquee fighter here. I believe Timothy Bradley could beat him beyond doubt winning a decision in what would be one of the biggest upsets of this era.

Comment on this article

ultimoshogun says:

Spot on breakdown, I believe we're in for an upset come June 9. Those who think Bradley will be all wreckless and over agressive are in for a rude awakening. Bradley will fight a very tactical disiplined fight against Pacman, like his fight vs Witter. All those reasons stated in the article will come into play. We won't see any four to six punch combos from Pac cuz he's gonna have a hard time finding Bradley do to his foot speed. I also see Bradley switching up his game to keep Manny guessing, boxing and countering then attacking suddenly. The second half of the fight Manny's legs will cramp again causing him to rest along the ropes where Bradley will unleash his superior inside game.

Radam G says:

Tim Bradley is a man of tin. On his arse, Da Manny's Pac-punches are gonna heavily RAIN! For Da Manny, it will be one easy win. TB is gonna be in so much PAIN! TB is a grandmaster of the trick of the trade of the cranium crush. To be careful of his chocolate dome, Da Manny must. That is some chocolate that is no yummy, yummy treat. Neutralizing the blast of it will make "Desert Fox" General Omar Bradley -- I mean "Desert Storm" Timmy Bradley -- so easy to beat. Da jive sucka is gonna smoke and burn like desert-grass straw. He will not be able to handle the fire and heat of Da Manny's blazin quickdraw.

Da desert-domain TB is seeing a mirage of beating Da Manny. But in dat squared jungle, the raining of reality and actuality are going to be quite uncanny. TB will be dreaming of being in his pit. But in dat squared jungle, outta him Da Manny will be beating da double fudge, holy sh*t!

And Da Manny is not taking any head-butting Yanky -- I mean hanky -- panky. On Buffalo Soldier Sgt. Cinderella -- I mean Cali Cranium Crusherella -- with all this Bradley-got-a-chance superhype, Da Manny is going to put down a vicious KNOCKOUT of a STANK, I mean a Yank, for TB trying to use his big, ole, arse cranium like an Omar Bradley tank. [Big GRIN!] Hehehe! Hahaha! Da Manny is now da Yankexecutioner. Holla

Radam G says:

BTW, Bradley has no hand or foot speed. As his deliverly cranium crushing is a adroitly optical illusion, so are his flouncing and fluctuating of his hands and feet.

Radam G RESPOST: "The uneducated and unprofessional eyes take TB's flouncing and fluctuating with his hands and feet as speed, when it is nothing more and/or less than a lot of exaggeration and shifting back and forward with uncertainty."

This dude is just an upscaled bum plus -- a B+ fighter, who has been fighting in a cleaned out division, because all the top guns left it and went to welterweight. Holla!

deepwater says:

upset is possible but I doubt it. Who wins? tyson or the south beach cannible? i got the cannible

brownsugar says:

Who ever wrote this captured the full scenario in my minds eye. This the very realized piece down to the most minute detail.

you can't argue that Pac is very dangerous,.. but his effectiveness decreases exponentially when is opponents move. Give him a stationary target,.. and that's all she wrote. Give Pac some movement,.. and you can see the wheels turn and grind in his mind as he struggles to map out another a plan of attack.

If Bradley is good at one thing,.. it's taking advantage of his opponents weaknesses,.. he fights the fight his opponents aren't comfortable with, and he gradually escalates his attack from there.

Watch Bradley's last fight against Cassamayor,.. I thought he was being very tentative in the early rounds. But he'd done his homework against Cassamayor who is the KING of intentional headbutts and dirty tactics and you'll see Bradley make a conscious effort to stand straight up and prevent himself from getting caught by Cassamayors lunging missile like forehead.

It was a brilliant adjustment that had the ref warn Cassamayor repeatedly for trying to bore in with his head and pretend like it was Bradleys fault.

We know Pac is the overwhelming favorite... but maybe.... Just maybe.... Bradley's got a plan.

ali says:

Easy fight for Pac. Im going to go to Buffalo wild wings to watch it cuz I don't expect it to be a good fight but I hope im wrong.

brownsugar says:

Lowered expectations Ali,... I don't blame you. no sense in getting setup for a letdown.

Ultimo,... couldn't have said it better myselt.

ali says:

I think Kel Brook would have a much better chance at beating Pac then Bradley but Timothy has truly earned a shot.

Radam G says:

CasaMayor is/was a way-passed-his-prime tomato can when he danced with the Cali Cranium Crusher. Bradley fought a dude that was truthfully about Bradley's pops's age. When Bradley's pops, "Big Ray," saw CasaMayor's old a$$, he asked him to borrow some epsom salt and Vicks rubbing grease. Hehehehe!

I know how the age game works in this seedy game, so I stand by my claims of the Jamaican-Cuban being old enough to have helped Sonny "Night Train" Liston turn on the lights when God Said, "Let There Be Light." Of course, Night Train said, "Okey, BOSS!" And turned on the light, and knocked CasaMayor's arse out for trying to turn 'em first. Hehehehe!

Bradley's best laid plan against Da Manny should be to be like Bambi, and run like H#LL! But he will still get caught and kayoed with those slow-a$$ muscle-bound feet on him. I bet even the little toes on dat sucka are half the size of his crash-into-yo-face dome. Holla!

brownsugar says:

Preach it RG!!

ultimoshogun says:

WTF ever happened to #1 Pacfan?? He just vanished like Keyser Soze.

brownsugar says:

Where ever #1 is, I'm sure he'd have something interesting to say about this fight.

Buzz Murdock says:

I don;t think so

vjoe says:

Pac is not the Chris Byrd of the welterweight division, i.e., someone who has become overrated by outslicking slow, ponderous opponents. Granted, his opponents have been chosen somewhat selectively at the welterweight level and he is the older fighter going against a very good younger fighter. But Pac is awfully good, hits hard and throws a ton of punches, and some pretty elite fighters have switched to survival mode after a few rounds with him. Don't bet the house, but the Pacman should win this one.

Radam G says:

I'm bettin' da house, da dog and three bags of chips. Holla!

the Roast says:

The breakdown: two words. Head. Butt.

michaelabii says:

A pretty good breakdown and a possible scenario. A lot depends on Manny legs. Will they give way or will they carry him through. If Mannys legs dont let him down then I see him stopping Bradley late in the fight. My reasoning: Mannys punches are sharper and more accurate. Bradley often throws wild punches and Manny will catch him either between or at the end of those punches. Bradley is B+ as a technician but certainly not an A+ technician like Marquez or Mayweather. Sure, he will certainly engage Manny but I do not anticipate the sharp counter punching ability that Marquez brought to the table. Bradley is quick with his feet but his handspeed is overated. He certainly is not slow but not exceptionally fast either. In the fight with Devon Alexander he was winging wild punches although to his credit he was presing the fight. I see a fight where he gets hit with a lot of shots and starts to trade with Manny much like the Cotto fight. He may go the distance or the fight will get stopped at about the 10th by his corner. The other scenario is that Mannys legs start to cramp up, he becomes more stationary and it becomes a wild slugfest with Bradley winning a split decision - an unlikely scenario with a Paquiao fight in Vegas. Should be agood scrap however.

Radam G says:

#1PacFan got his eyes on you. Hehehehe! I bet you that. He's probably laughing his arse off. You dudes are just amazing how easily that you are conned by optical illusions, reality distortion, make-believe actuality and media manipulation, especially with HBO's humbuggery, bullsh*tology and outlandishness. Holla!

gpike says:

Wylie-

You're way over-thinking and hyping this fight. Bradley has no power, engages entirely too much and has no experience with a fighter of Manny's caliber. At this stage, I see Manny as having issues outside the ring that could conceivably lead to a loss--against Floyd for sure or Marquez--but not to Tim Bradley. Bradley brings no firepower, no weapon, no special skill other than his will to win, which I will grant him, is powerful but not powerful enough. He's also not really fast, more like sort of fast and not really effective when he is and if he tries to bang it out with Manny, he's just going to get crushed--by an upper-cut i suspect. He can move to Manny's left, as you keep pointing out, but he's too small and he'll get killed there too. You're comparing Bradley to two vastly better fighters than himself--Mosley and Morales-and its got you talking crazy talk. This should be over in about 8 round with Manny winning by tko.

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