Manny Pacquiao versus Bradley: A possible miscalculation
By Babatis Banda: The reason Manny Pacquiao is fighting Bradley is almost certain. Bradley is never seen as a threat by Arum. Bradley is not expected to ruin the big fight with Floyd when the right time for both Arum and Manny comes to face Floyd. Bradley is almost a sacrificial lamb, to raise Manny’s ego after the Marquez debacle.
It is almost hysterical to hear how Manny’s camp always point out to the fact that Marquez seems to have Manny’s number, as if to say, it is only Marquez that has Manny’s number. Other than Marquez, Manny’s number has been called out three times.
Bradley is a strong fighter, but has no reflexes to cause Manny any serious problems. Bradley is exactly the kind of fighter Manny likes to split open. He is aggressive, and has somewhat poor foot work. He forces the action without much skill to accompany his physical attributes. He moves in straight lines, sometimes offering his head for target shooting. Bradley is certainly a brave warrior, but boxing is not only a game of strength and heart, it is also a thinking and skill demanding game at this level.
Having said this, Arum might just have messed things up for Manny. The problem is that Manny is almost in the same league with Bradley in terms of skill. They are both dependant on raw power, but Manny has an edge in speed and foot-work. On a bad night, Manny could really be in trouble considering that he has no defensive skills to talk about. Manny, just like Bradley, believes in taking shot to deliver his and most of the time is really open for good target shooting. There is one problem Bradley needs to deal with, just like Marquez successfully managed to do, avoid the occasional straight lefts and time Manny when he jumps in and out. If Bradley does this, we could be watching another Marquez story.
Arum probably was left with no real choice for Manny after Cotto refused to be drained dry to 147 from 154. I commend Cotto for opening his eyes, that would have meant losing the fight before stepping in the ring, and that kind of catch-weight gimmicks should only be accepted by desperate fighters looking for a decent pay cheque only. At 154 Cotto has a chance against Manny, if it were not so, Manny would have agreed to fight him, after all, Cotto would have made a better PPV.
On paper, Manny beats Bradley and it is the reason why Arum had no problem picking him, but we could be up for a surprise, a bad miscalculation by Arum and the end to the anticipated big match.