Can Bradley stand up to Pacquiao’s power shots?
By John F. McKenna (McJack): It is a foregone conclusion that when World Boxing Organization (WBO) light welterweight champion Timothy Bradley (28-0-1 NC, 12 KO’s) enters the ring on June 9 at the MGM Grand Arena to engage Filipino icon WBO Welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 KO’s) he will do so with the intent to take Pacquiao’s title. Most boxing pundits agree that “Desert Storm” will not run away.
WBO /WBA lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez (53-6-1, 39 KO’s) fought the fight of his life last November against Manny and many boxing fans believe he deserved to win the contest. But the win went to “Pacman” and there is a school of thought which says that to take the title away from the champion you must pursue him. In most cases in a close fight, the judges are going to give the fight to the aggressor. Apparently the judges did not think that Marquez did enough to take the title away from the champion. The decision in the Pacquiao – Marquez fight will be debated forever.
Joshua Clottey and Shane Mosley fought defensive fights against Pacquiao after they tasted his power, content with just surviving. Who can ever forget the look of surprise on Mosley’s face after being floored by Pacquiao in the 3rd round of their encounter? Later on in the fight Mosley begged his trainer Nazim Richardson to stop the fight. Mosley confided in interviews afterwards that he was amazed at Manny’s power.
Pacquiao will not have any trouble finding Bradley. “Desert Storm” is a rugged and tough customer, willing to do whatever he has to do to win, including an occasional unintentional head butt. It is sometimes jokingly said that Bradley’s head is his most formidable weapon. And it is something that camp Pacquao will be working on to avoid.
But in reality Timothy’s aggression may be his undoing. Bradley has already conceded that Manny’s punches have more power than his own. It is something “Desert Storm” believes he can handle. But that is pretty much what you would expect from a fighter who is challenging arguably the #1 Pound for Pound fighter in the world.
Pacquiao has a big ego and he will be out to prove against Bradley that he is still the best fighter in the world. He was badly stung by the criticism heaped on him after the Marquez fight, some of it coming from his homeland in the Philippines. It is doubtful that Bradley, who is not primarily a defensive fighter, can stand up to Pacquiao’s power for twelve rounds. Not when that fighter will be right in front of him and has not fought at the high level that Manny has.