Pacquiao vs. Bradley 2 – No Critical Thinking
By Marc Livitz: It’s fight week in Las Vegas and the grand arrivals (at the Grand) have officially begun. What’s at stake this coming Saturday evening, as if they have not already been spun in countless directions? In some ways, the spinning is good, inasmuch as the angles of righting the wrongs and proving the rights can possibly go.
Why is it that if Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley met in a rematch in say, October 2012 (as Tim so famously predicted with a giant novelty ticket at the final press conference before their June 2012 bout) that so many ardent and casual boxing fans alike would quite possibly have said, “hogwash and rubbish” or any other applicable jargon, yet this Saturday’s contest is projected to surpass the previous outing? Why? Quite simply put: because we love boxing. Do we really believe those who are steadfast in their claim to boycott this fight? Frankly speaking, do we always need famous fighters to make an undercard meaningful?
Here’s a pugilistic tidbit that may be worth noting to some. Manny Pacquiao is returning not only to fight in the United States for the first time since December 2012, but he’s also going to the revisit the locale where not one, not two, but three of his five defeats have occurred. The match with Bradley (where most feel The Pac Man was shortchanged), the savage and oft replayed Sunday punch delivered by Juan Manuel “Dinamita” Marquez which could have been featured on Sunday Night Football and let us not forget the 2005 hotly fought contest between the Philippine superstar and the great Erik “El Terrible” Morales.
Before we sling a single tomato, let’s recall the many evenings under the lights of the MGM Grand Garden Arena and Manny Pacquiao’s efforts against such foes as Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto and Ricky Hatton. Such bouts were the stuff of the highlight reels which are used to sell his bouts today to the buying public. All things considered or otherwise left out, Saturday, April 12 should be a great night of boxing. The interest should have peaked more than anything due to Bradley’s efforts against Ruslan Provonikov and Juan Manuel Marquez, not to mention the fact that the Palm Springs, California fighter seems exponentially better in the ring than he some twenty two months ago.
We don’t need the pomp and circumstance. HBO’s “24/7” series passed boring long ago and not simply because the program no longer involves a certain “Money May”. Rather, it’s because we can only see so many cars, houses, training footage sequences, schools, daycares, barbecues or the like before we begin to feel as if the infomercial is but in repeat mode and our thumbs should already be safely positioned on the “buy” buttons of our remotes. Likewise, we’d have to guess that should Liev Schreiber choose to write as well as narrate each episode that he would not do so in such lingo reminiscent of the official press releases from the hermit kingdom of North Korea.
For the first time in a good while, a fight involving the great Manny Pacquiao could very well be a tossup or “pick ’em” once the bell sounds and all bets are closed. Speaking of wagering, the odds which currently make the “Pac Man” the favorite are a bit unfair to “Desert Storm” Bradley. Some think that Manny may have just as “The Golden Boy” De La Hoya once did: the Vegas odds always on his side. Hopefully, that is not the case although Bradley’s camp has professed that they cannot expect a victory by way of decision.
The pressure on Pacquiao must be tremendous. Should he lose, then he’s not only “Pac Man”, but he’s reduced to tabletop PacMan or even (for those of us old enough to remember) the PacMan video game that was also a pinball machine. He’s Atari 2600 PacMan, although his accomplishments in the ring and contribution to the sport easily crush any such comparisons.