Can Bradley pull off the unexpected against Pacquiao?
By John F. McKenna (McJack): In the lead up to any big fight it is always difficult to distinguish between hype and reality. The upcoming fight between undefeated World Boxing Organization (WBO) light welterweight champion Timothy Bradely (28-0-1 NC, 12 KO’s) and superstar WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 KO’s) is no exception. The hype machine is in full swing in an effort to drive up ticket and Pay Per View (PPV) sales.
The Bradley – Pacquiao fight will take place on June 9 at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas. Since the return to the reservation of strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza, pretty much everything you here internally coming out of Camp Pacquiao has been positive. Outside distractions like the quotes related to gay marriage that were attributed to Manny and then retracted by the journalist who published them, were sure to divert the Filipino icon’s attention for a period of time. Outside distractions for Manny should be avoided like the plague. It is often difficult, however to side step all the minefields that surround a celebrity of Pacquio’s status. Hopefully last weeks distractions at Camp Pacquiao are now waning.
In the lead up to Pacquiao’s fight with Juan Manuel Marquez last November the words coming out of “Pacman’s” training camp were for the most part positive. Both trainer Freddie Roach and Alex Ariza were sure that Manny would roll to an easy victory and were predicting early KO’s. Ariza in fact made the comment than even if God came down to assist Marquez he could not help him. Of course we all know how that turned out.
Any discussion about Pacquiao having marital problems, the late night partying, drinking and gambling did not surface until after the Marquez fight. Worst of all was the revelation of the alleged marital problems Manny was having with his wife Jinkee.
It is only natural therefore that when you hear the glowing reports coming out of Camp Pacquiao for his upcoming fight with Bradley that you would be just a little bit skeptical.
Timothy Bradley is a tough fighter to gauge. He does not have the overwhelming speed that “Pacman” has. Neither does he have Manny’s power. For that matter there is no area in which Bradley surpasses Pacquiao. Most troubling for Pacquiao fans however is “Desert Storm’s” indomitable will to win. His will to win has carried him to victory on more than one occasion when it appeared that all was lost. Bradley also has a hunger that is very rarely seen in modern day fighters.
Hunger is the one area that this writer believes Bradley has the edge over Pacquiao. I’m not convinced at this stage of his training that Manny has the same hunger exhibited by Bradley. That hunger could spell the difference between victory and defeat. If Bradley does pull off what would be a huge upset, it would not be the first time in boxing history that a fighter with less ability defeated a superior but less dedicated fighter. That is not to say that Pacquiao does not train hard and fights to win. But his soul purpose and focus should be on defeating Timothy Bradley. There has been no criticism of Bradley for not being focused.
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