Brash Bradley: New blood vs old blood
LAS VEGAS—Will Manny Pacquiao be a matador tangling with a raging bull?
Or, will he be a predator chasing a scampering prey?
Whatever role Pacquiao will assume will depend upon what Timothy Bradley will bring to the ring Saturday night (Sunday in Manila).
If Bradley, the unbeaten American, chooses to slug it out, then Pacquiao will gladly oblige in defense of his World Boxing Council welterweight crown.
If Bradley, young, brash and trash-talking, opts to run, then Pacquiao, a solid 4-1 favorite, will hound him throughout the 12-round bout slated at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
The intention really is to knock out the 28-year-old Bradley, who’s headlining a PPV pay-per-view card for the first time.
According to Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach, Pacquiao told him that he’s gunning for stoppage this time to make up for his disappointing performance against Juan Manuel Marquez last November, whom he bested by majority decision.
Though he’d swept his last 15 opponents en route to a 54-3-2 record with 38 KOs, Pacquiao failed to finish off the last four—Joshua Clottey, Antonio Margarito, Shane Mosley and Marquez.
Bradley, however, claims that Pacquiao’s selection as Fighter of the Decade, doesn’t scare him. It props him up.
“I’m ready to shock the world,” said Bradley, who stands to receive the biggest paycheck of his career worth $5 million.
Insisting that Pacquiao, who’ll be getting $26 million plus share in PPV and gate receipts, is no one-punch wonder, Bradley said he’ll go toe-to-toe once he finds out that he can withstand the global icon’s power.
But even if Bradley’s hunch proves to be right, he’ll still be in for trouble with Pacquiao faster and more-experienced, who has found a new passion in bible study and preaching, has fought 59 times, including 16 world title fights that made him king in the 112, 122, 126, 130, 135, 140, 147 and 154-pound divisions, the only one to do so.
HEAVIEST FOR PACQUIAO
As expected Pacquiao and Bradley made the 147-pound limit on their first tries at the weight scale Friday (Saturday in Manila).
The announcement that Pacquiao weighed in at 147 pounds, however, was a surprise as it’s his heaviest ever. Bradley, who’s playing mindgames with Pacquiao to no avail, checked in at 146.
According to Bradley, he’s naturally bigger than Pacquiao, having fought at 152 pounds in the amateurs.
One thing going for Bradley, according to boxing pundits, is his fresh legs and determination.
Fact is, Bradley (28-0) taunted Pacquiao by describing their bout as between “new blood against old blood.”
FOLLOW MARQUEZ’S STYLE
Bradley, whose vegetarian diet in the course of his three-month training has produced a well-sculpted physique that will make bodybuilders drool, said he’ll be using Marquez’s style as blueprint on how to punish and dominate Pacquiao. The main feature of that strategy is effective counterpunching, which Bradley intends to enhance with affective aggression.
According to Roach, Bradley doesn’t have the skill nor the power (only 12 knockouts) to be able to thwart the superbly conditioned Pacquiao, whose life took a drastic change when he embraced spiritual renewal through the bible.
Concerns that it will further make Pacquiao lose his killer’s instinct, which was already wanting in his demolition of Margarito and Mosley, were brushed aside by the pound-for-pound king.
He said fighting is part of the profession and it’s his job to make fans happy.
That would be easy if he comes up with a knockout victory over the loudmouth Bradley.
Filipinos and the world want to see again the fiery, feisty Manny./Inquirer
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