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Bradley suffers calf injury, loses to Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao Timothy BradleyBy Chris Williams: Tim Bradley (31-1, 12 KO’s) dominated Manny Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KO’s) last night through the first part of the fight, but a calf injury caused the 30-year-old Bradley to slow up after the 4th, leading eventually to a narrow 12 round unanimous decision defeat to Pacquiao last night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Two of the judges had the fight scored correctly at 116-112, 116-112, while the third judge had his scorecard way off to what had happened in the ring last night by scoring it 118-110.

We’ll never know what would have happened had Bradley not suffered the injury, but what we do know is that he was dominating Pacquiao before the injury. You can draw conclusions from that, I guess.

We didn’t see the same Pacquiao that we once knew 4000 yesterday’s ago. He’s clearly not the same Pacquiao that existed in his prime. I hate to say it but Pacquiao was getting hit a lot by shots from an injured, flat-footed, and stationary Bradley. If there had been a stronger puncher in the ring than Bradley last night, I’d hate to think what would have happened to Pacquiao.

We did see Pacquiao get hurt and almost knocked off his feet in the 4th when he ate a hard right hand from Bradley. This was from a guy who isn’t a big puncher. Bradley had Pacquiao badly hurt. Picture what would have happened had someone with power like Marcos Maidana or Floyd Mayweather Jr. would have done to Pacquiao if they were in the ring last night.

What we saw last night from Pacquiao against an injured Bradley wouldn’t be enough to hang with Masyweather. Pacquiao is no threat at all to Mayweather. With the way Mayweather is fighting, Pacquiao wouldn’t stand a chance against him. Pacquiao can probably run the table on Top Rank promoter Bob Arum’s stable of fighters, but that’s not saying much because Arum’s stable consists of Brandon Rios, Jessie Vargas, who I thought lost last night to Khabib Allakhverdiev, Mike Alvarado, and Mikey Garcia.

Juan Manuel Marquez is getting up there in age at 41, and he might be old enough finally for Pacquiao to get his first non-controversial decision over him. I thought Marquez won all four of their previous fights.

At this point Mayweather needs to focus on fighting the high quality guys that he’s being matched up against, because he’s got a lot of great fights ahead of him. Pacquiao can stay in his own lane in the same way that Bradley is by staying with Top Rank, and if he ever wants to come out of his lane, he can do so. But Pacquiao is going to need to do this quickly, and he’s probably going to need 2-3 solid win healthy fighters with a lot of talent. There’s no one that I see in Arum’s stable that fits the criteria of being talented other than Bradley, but he’s having too many foot problems right now.

As for Pacquiao’s next fight, it’ll be against Marquez or Alvarado. Those aren’t interesting fights. The Marquez-Pacquiao fight has been played out to the extreme by Arum, if for no other reason because he doesn’t have anyone else to match against Pacquiao. It’s like someone with two DVD movies in their collection, and they just keep playing the same one over and over again each time visitors come over. For me, it’s already reached a point long ago where I got tired of watching the same movie. It’s wretched at this point, but that’s the future for Pacquiao. We’ll see a fifth fight between him and Marquez at some point, even if Marquez loses to Alvarado. As Jim Lampley of HBO said last night, we’ll also see a third fight very soon between Pacquiao and Bradley. I don’t see it stopping there. Arum will likely put that Pacquiao-Bradley movie back on again and again and again until the public stops buying it.

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