WHAT’S YOUR PREDICTION?
Bradley is a durable iron-spirited warrior who has never tasted defeat, and I believe he has the ability to defeat Pacquiao. If Pacquiao can utilize an experienced jab and stay away from the ropes to avoid Bradley’s bum-rush offense, he may be able to time him ala Hatton because from what I saw from his previous fights Bradley swings a bit wide.
We shall see. I haven’t been this excited for a Pacquiao fight since the 2nd fight with Morales. Take care and keep up the great work always! – Lester
Thanks Lester. Nice one with the “Uatu’s Head” nickname. Only comic book nerds will get the reference (although I’ve mentioned The Watcher more than a few times in these bags ‘o mine), but those who do will probably chuckle at the image. (If there’s an African American among Uatu’s ancient star-watching race, I bet he looks just like Timmy.)
It’s taken me awhile but I’ve finally become interested in this big fight. Although I believe Bradley is arguably the most worthy opponent for Pacquiao not named Floyd Mayweather, I wasn’t excited about the style matchup. But the closer we get to fight night, the more I think Bradley is going to take it to Pacquiao.
In fact, I’m pretty sure the undefeated Palm Springs native is going to box and fight aggressively, which is why I’m predicting a late-rounds stoppage victory for Pacquiao. As you noted, Bradley gets a little wild when he attacks his opponents. In fact, he often swarms them to such a degree that he smothers his own punches.
Who knows? Maybe that approach will stifle and eventually break Pacquiao down. My guess, however, is that Pacquiao will clip and drop or seriously rock a charging Bradley by the middle rounds of the bout. I think Bradley’s dogged determination and superb conditioning will enable him to survive the wobbly moment and keep him in the fight for a few more rounds (hopefully making for some fantastic drama), but Pacquiao will get to him again and again until somebody stops the fight.
UPSET IN THE MAKING
I think this weekend has upset written all over it. But first, one quick question: Do you think Bradley is being dumped on by the ‘experts’ because he is new and they’re so accustomed to seeing Manny win? Every single one of them say Bradley is a legit challenger and will bring the heat, but in the end they all have Manny winning. Are they choosing the devil they know? Or is it the lack of power Bradley has that’s leading them to go with Pacquiao? You’re considered one of the experts, explain their thinking to me?
Shane Mosley is one of the few openly picking Bradley to win and he said this fight reminds him of his first fight with Oscar De La Hoya. Actually, there are a lot of parallels when I think about it. Oscar was coming off of a poor performance and chose a guy from lighter weights to try and rebound. Mosley was an accomplished champ in that lower weight class and needed a fight against a name to get to that next level. Manny didn’t lose his last fight but he didn’t look awesome and his promoter chose a smaller, younger fighter to try and rebound from. Come to think of it, wasn’t Arum involved in Oscar-Mosley 1, too? What were Mosley’s chances going into the Oscar fight initially? I’d have to think similar to Pac-Bradley.
Anyway, I’m on record thinking Bradley is the guy to beat Manny Pacquiao. I think timing has everything to do with it. I do believe Pacquiao is on the downslope (how steep the curve is still to be determined) and Bradley is on the up. I just think at this time in both guy’s careers, its great timing for Bradley. Prior to his last fight I think you could argue his level of opposition was just as compelling and hardcore as Froch at 168 (meaning fighting a string of excellent challenges). Meanwhile, a knock on Pacquiao is he hasn’t really had to work that hard since moving up from 130. Lastly, I think Bradley’s speed will be the determining factor. Pacquiao has been used to being the quicker guy for a long time now. I wonder if he knows how to deal with someone faster than him? I’m predicting a 12th-round TKO win for Timothy Bradley as he outfights and outboxes Pacquiao all 3 minutes of every round and it weighs on Pac enough to hold him down in the 12th. He’ll try and fight valiantly, but youth will be served in this fight. – Kyle in Washington
That would be a most spectacular victory for Bradley. In my opinion, it would be a bigger upset than Mosley’s first victory over De La Hoya (by the way, I correctly predicted Sugar Shane would win by split-decision 12 years ago). I agree that there are similarities between Mosley’s first challenge to The Golden Boy and Bradley’sshowdown with the PacMan. Both African-American Southern Californian’s were 3-to-1 underdogs. Both were appreciated by hardcore fans and boxing insiders but relatively unknown outside of the sport compared to their famous and heavily favored opponents. Both were strength and conditioning freaks at their physical peak and both possessed aggressive, Mexican-inspired boxing styles.
However, unlike Bradley, Mosley had the edge of punching power.
I don’t agree with your prediction but I agree that Bradley’s speed will be major factor in this fight. When you add Bradley’s quickness to his desire, tenacity, physical strength, somewhat awkward style and tendency to lead with his head, you’ve got a major pain in the ass for any fighter – even one of Pacquiao’s stature.
I think Bradley’s speed will enable his counter right hand and body attack to find their marks and hurt Pacquiao, but I believe that his aggression and penchant for pressing his opponents will play into the harder-punching hands of the Filipino hero.
I know Bradley’s style was poison for other southpaws – Junior Witter, Devon Alexander and Joel Casamayor – but I’m not sure it will work against Pacquiao, who stands his ground more than those three.
Regarding the “experts” predictions overwhelmingly favoring Pacquiao, I don’t think anyone is “dumping” on Bradley. Most of the boxing media has the utmost respect for Bradley. They’ve seen him win more than Pacquiao, who most of us press row folks witnessed lose to Erik Morales. I think boxing writers and insiders are going with Pacquiao for three reasons: he’s the odds favorite (and most of us, especially scribes, go with the chalk), we know he’s used to mega events, and (as you noted) Bradley’s lack of power (we’re too damn jaded to think Timmy can win a decision against Pacquaio in Vegas).
BRADLEY BEST PAC’S FACED IN YEARS
If you look at Pacquiao’s resume since 2008, what fighter has he beaten that Bradley wouldn’t have beaten? I rest my case. Bradley by unanimous decision. – Tyler K.
Hmmmm… let me think about that statement. Yeah, I would go with Bradley over the 130-pound version of JM Marquez, David Diaz and the shell of De La Hoya that the PacMan brutalized. I think Bradley would outpoint Ricky Hatton (probably by late technical decision after the bout is stopped due to the 140-pound champ’s face being reduced to hamburger thanks to Timmy’s forehead), but I think it would be a competitive (and ugly) fight. I don’t think Bradley would blast Hatton out the way Manny did.
And I’m not sure if Bradley could beat the 145-pound version of Cotto that Pacquiao bested in late 2009. That probably would have been a darn good fight. I think I favor Cotto in that one. I also think Bradley would have had a heck of a time dealing with Josh Clottey. Timmy has the speed and activity to outwork and outpoint Clottey as Pacquiao did, but I’m not sure he has the power to put and keep the Ghanaian in his shell for 12 rounds. I favor Bradley on points, but not by a wide margin.
I think Bradley would outclass the faded (and thankfully now retired) versions of Antonio Margarito and Mosley that Pac fought in late ’10 and ’11, but I think he would got tit-for-tat with the 142-pound version of Marquez right down to the final bell.
Come to think of it, Bradley-Marquez would be a fascinating matchup. If you’re right, and Bradley does win tomorrow night, that’s a fight I’d like to see (right after the Pacquiao rematch, of course).