By Dan Ambrose: WBO welterweight champion Tim Bradley (33-1-1, 13 KOs) feels that he is no longer the fighter that loss to Manny Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 KOs) in 2014, and struggled to beat him by highly contested 12 round decision in 2012.
Bradley sees his new trainer Teddy Atlas as having given him a new fighting style, and along with that style, a new approach to each fight going forward. According to Bradley, all he needs to do to beat the 37-year-old Pacquiao in their third fight on April 9 is to eliminate the mistake he made in the past in their first two fights.
That is easier said than done, however, because Pacquiao was able to get the better of Bradley in almost everything he did. Pacquiao quickly adapted to all the things Bradley tried in their two fights. The only time Bradley was able to avoid punishment was when he was using a lot of movement. Nevertheless, when he was moving around the ring, he wasn’t landing anything and was just wasting time and energy.
“I am different. This fight is not about Pacquiao, it’s about me being the best that I can be,” Bradley said to fightnews.com. “If I limit those mistakes, those mortal sins, I should win the fight with no game plan. I just have to be on point.”
I think Bradley isn’t giving Pacquiao too much credit for being able to get the better of him in the past. It wasn’t just Bradley’s mistakes that caused him so many problems in his two prior fights with Pacquiao. It was more a case of Pacquiao being better than he is.
Pacquiao had the size, hand speed, and power advantage. When you have that many things going for you, it makes it very tough on your opponents to come up with a strategy to beat you. Bradley tried to slug it out with Pacquiao, and that did not work.
It’s expected that Bradley will be trying to use movement against Pacquiao in their rematch on April 9 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Bradley says he will not be running from Pacquiao, which is probably true more or less. However, I think his movement is going to keep Bradley from having any real chance of winning the fight.
The judges are not going to give rounds to Bradley if he fails to fight aggressively. He is not Floyd Mayweather Jr. Bradley will need to produce on the offensive side for him to be able to get the decision. He can forget about knocking Pacquiao out, because he does not have the punching power to make that happen.
“I was very surprised that he picked me. I didn’t expect to have a third fight. I thought it was going to go 1 and 1,” Bradley said. “I’m always willing to fight the best but Manny Pacquiao is on my mind. Now I am the back-then, calm Bradley. Very smart, very experienced fighter. I have been in the ring with him for 24 rounds.” Bradley.
Pacquiao obviously picked Bradley with the advice of his promoter Bob Arum, who gave him the names of the different fighters available and estimated how much money a fight against them would be worth. Since Arum only had Bradley, Amir Khan, Adrien Broner and Terence Crawford as the small list of potential candidates available for Pacquiao to choose from, it made it simple for Bradley to get the fight. If Arum had branched out to get more names, then Pacquiao could have had better choices.