HBO unwrapped their third and final installment of the 24/7 documercial series on Thursday night, two days before Manny Pacquiao, the 35-year-old Congressman/pugilist, rematches with Timothy Bradley, the iron-willed stamina freak from Cali.
HBO play by play ace Jim Lampley looked back at the first tangle between the two. It was June 2012, and Lamps recalled it as an "infamous" night, because of the scoring snafu which had Bradley getting his hand raised, despite 98% or so of watchers believing Pacman was the man.
We heard snippets of color man Manny Steward, and several writers opining that Manny was looking like the better man most of the night. Emcee Michael Buffer said he almost did a double take as he looked at the scorecards, to make sure they had it right. Lampley said "God only knows how" on fightnight, after reporting the cards.
Lampley and Roy Jones sat on a Vegas strip street, and Jones told Lampley that Bradley's jab fell off very early, and became a "measuring" or "pawing" tool. Manny set nice traps, and landed sharp lefts, he said, on Bradley. Bradley got smarter, moving more inside or outside, not staying at midrange, Jones noted. The analyst said that Manny challenged Bradley's right hand in the 2012 tangle. Jones thinks Bradley could look to land less power punches and that could help him land more. Lampley noted that Manny hasn't had a KO in his last seven bouts, and we see Manny being asked if he was in a state of disbelief when the scores were announced. He was surprised, yes, but then shrugged it off, as part of boxing. Manny then repeated what we've heard, if we've followed the buildup, that Bradley's chops-busting in the leadup has benefitted him, helped him get motivated. He was asked about the need or possibility of the KO, and once again said that's what he's aiming for. He said he's aiming for a conclusive win, and said he wants to fight on, for awhile, for a couple more years, but that depends on what goes down Saturday. And, I guess, if he goes down, right?
Tim Bradley was then peppered with queries. The fighter said he was happy, the sad, and then deeply depressed following his "win." The boxer said that hearing criticism over the last couple years has been a positive, because he's bounced back, and he now doesn't care what naysayers are saying. Bradley said he notes that Manny's animalism has diminished, and many Manny-iacs think the same. And does he have to dominate to get judge love? He said even if Manny gets the nod but the fans and media know he won, he's good with that.
We saw Bradley hit his home gym, and saying that Manny has been at the top for a long time, and it's lonely at the top. No way Manny has worked harder than him, he said. Bradley and trainer Julio Diaz do a workout, and Diaz talks smack about Freddie Roach. Bradley is then on a bus, with family, and hits a Lakers game, and chats with Reggie MIller and Chris Webber, on TNT, at Staples Center. Bradley said he's aiming for a round 8 KO, for the record. Lampley said his taking hours off to hit the Laker game speaks to his confidence.
Next, we hear from Dyan Castillejo a Filipino journalist; she says she feeds the beast all the time about Pacman news. No detail is too small, including what Manny snacked on...She says she knows when is a good time to talk to Manny, but now, because he's MANNY, she has to wait more than a decade ago. Castillejo talks about that Marquez knockout. She says that her office called her and asked if Manny was alive when he was facedown. The nation fights vicariously through the boxer, she says, and the people got some happiness after that vicious typhoon last year when Manny notched a win. Jones came back, and told Lampley that Bradley holds the psychological advantage, because he has everything to gain. Jones said that Bradley is in a good position to out-point Manny, if he survives. The first round will actually be round 13, Jones said, and then Lampley offered some social media fare for fans.
He plugged the weigh-in show, which kicks off on HBO, at 6 PM ET, TONIGHT!
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV