Manny Pacquiao vs Timothy Bradley Preview
Manny Pacquiao, arguably the top pound-for-pound boxer in the world, will be attempting to successfully defend his WBO welterweight championship on Sat. June 9 against undefeated Timothy Bradley at the MGM Grand arena in Las Vegas.
Pacquiao, the 33-year-old southpaw, will take a record of 54-3-2, with 38 knockouts into the ring with him while the 28-year-old Bradley of Palm Springs, California will try to extend his undefeated mark of 28-0 with 12 knockouts. Both fighters are just over 5-feet 6- inches tall with Bradley having a two-inch reach advantage.
Pacquiao is a titleholder in a record eight divisions while Bradley is the WBO Jr. Welterweight Champion and a former WBC champion who is 7-0 in title fights. While it’s not quite Pacquiao vs Floyd Mayweather Jr., this is still a pretty good matchup for boxing fans. Bradley’s unbeaten and a solid top-10 contender who’s one of the best in the world at the junior welterweight division. The problem for him is that the fight is taking place at welterweight. It’s not a huge difference, but Bradley may not be used to carrying the extra weight.
This figures to be a tough fight for the Filipino champion as well since Bradley’s got a lot of heart and doesn’t know the meaning of the word “quit.” He’s also known to lead with his head and with an orthodox fighter against a southpaw we have the possibility of a few head butts and cuts. In addition, there’s less pressure on the challenger since many fans aren’t expecting too much from him. This could allow him to relax and just be himself once the bell rings without trying to impress anybody.
Bradley’s last high-profile fight was against Devon Alexander in a title unification bout back in January of 2011 and it was a foul-filled bout that was ended in the 10th round when Alexander couldn’t continue due to a cut over his eye. Based on that fight, Pacquiao shouldn’t have anything to worry about, but Bradley’s going to be highly motivated for this contest and it’s not going to be easy for Pacquiao since he could be past his peak now.
Pacquiao hasn’t knocked anybody out since stopping Miguel Cotto in 2009 and has been suffering from leg cramps recently. He might be wearing down a little bit due to the stronger and bigger opponents he’s faced over the last few years. Of course, being a congressman in his native Philippines could also affect his mental and physical preparation for the bout. He also stirred up some unwanted controversy a few weeks ago with remarks about gay marriages.
When the bell rings though, Pacquiao will do what he does best, which is let his hands go and fight with everything he has. Bradley doesn’t throw as many punches and is a less-fluid, more rigid fighter. However, he’s not going to beat Pacquiao without throwing leather and if he’s inactive he doesn’t have much of a chance of winning.
Pacquiao’s been down a few times in his career, but still has a good chin. Bradley’s also been on the canvas, most notably against Kendall Holt, but picked himself up and stormed back for a decision win. He doesn’t mind getting into rough, physical fights and he’s deceptively quick with good footwork. He’s not a knockout puncher and it’s unlikely he’ll be able to keep the champion off him.
His best tactic would be to constantly throw his jab as often as possible and try to neutralize Pacquiao’s straight left. If Bradley can get inside he’ll need to tie Pacquiao up, push, and try to break his rhythm. Basically, he’ll need to try and rough Pacquiao up. If he gets into a slugfest though he’ll likely come out on the wrong end due to his lack of power. Pacquiao should also try and establish his jab instead of leading with the straight left all night. He needs to get in and out, throw fast combinations and finish them off with powerful hooks.
If Bradley’s going to win this fight he has to turn it ugly, and that could lead to a boring bout. But it’s doubtful that he’ll be able to continuously get close to the champion. Pacquiao simply has a better work rate and has more experience against world-class fighters. It might go the distance, but expect him to retain his title.
Sportsbook 5dimes.eu has the latest odds of a Pacquiao victory at -450 and a Bradley win at +360. The odds of the bout going over 9.5 rounds are -260 and going under 9.5 rounds at +220. Visit 5Dimes.eu to bet on this fight (use 5Dimes marketing code AF0002879) and check out our other boxing previews for the upcoming weekend.