Tim Bradley with little chance to beat Pacquiao
By Dan Ambrose: WBO welterweight champion Tim Bradley (31-0, 12 KO’s) is set for what will very likely be his first loss of his career on April 12th in his rematch against Manny Pacquiao (55-3-2, 38 KO’s) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Bradley, at his best, is really little more than a more mobile version of Adrien Broner. You stick movable legs on Broner, and then lower his head into ramming position and you’ve got Tim Bradley. And that’s not going to work for him against Pacquiao a second time around.
We saw Bradley get a controversial decision over Pacquiao two years ago, and we then saw Bradley exposed in his next fight after that by Ruslan Provodnikov. That fight showed Bradley for all of his limitations with him getting beaten up and concussed in winning a fight that he likely would have been knocked out in if there were another 20 seconds left. While Bradley did win his last fight against Juan Manuel Marquez last October, he did it by moving around the ring and barely winning rounds with his low work rate.
Bradley won’t throw enough punches to beat Pacquiao on April 12th, and the only way he wins a second fight is if you have two judges that don’t mind the fact that he’s going to be out-worked and out-slugged like he was the last time. I don’t think there’s three judges in the world that would give Bradley another decision over Pacquiao with him looking the way he did in 2012 or the way he did in the Provodnikov fight. Even the Bradley that defeated Marquez, would lose badly to Pacquiao. He just doesn’t enough punches to beat a fighter like Pacquiao, and hitting him with jabs won’t do the job.
If the judges are stuck with scoring rounds were Bradley is throwing jabs and Pacquiao power punches, it’s pretty obvious that they’re going to give Pacquiao all the rounds. The only way Bradley can compete in this fight is if he forgets about running and he gets inside the trenches and fights Pacquiao in a toe-to-toe battle. We saw in the Provodnikov fight that Bradley can’t do that. He doesn’t have the game to defeat Pacquiao if he’s forced to slug with him, and he will be forced to do that unless he’s okay with losing all the rounds. There won’t be open scoring for this fight, but hopefully Bradley’s trainer is honest with him and tells him that he’s losing rounds so that he can make some kind of adjustment.
Bradley can beat some of the welterweights in the division. He can beat Marquez obviously, but I don’t think he could hang with guys like Keith Thurman, Kell Brook or Amir Khan. And Bradley definitely isn’t in the class of Pacquiao of Floyd Mayweather Jr. The fact that he’s gotten this far as the WBO welterweight champion is more because of the match-making that’s been done for him since he won the title in controversial fashion. In Bradley’s two fights since winning the WBO title off of Pacquiao, he’s beaten Provodnikov and Marquez, both of which are light welterweights. Those aren’t welterweights. Bradley is the champion of a title that has been isolated from the other fighters in the division to where he’s not facing the best guys like Mayweather, Brook or Khan at 147. Instead, he’s facing 140 lb fighters. On April 12th, Bradley will lose his WBO title, and then we’ll probably see a third fight between him and Pacquiao.