Tonight’s fight between Pacquiao vs Bradley 2 has finally arrived. The most talked about rematch in the past year is now upon us. The MGM Grand will be filled with celebrities who always invade Las Vegas whenever Pacquiao fights. Both fighters came weighed in yesterday at 145 lbs, with Bradley coming at a ripped 145.
The build up to the fight was based on Pacquiao being robbed by the judges and Bradley being given a gift. Both fighters have something to prove on this fight. For Bradley, he has to show the world that his victory over Pacquiao was not a gift and has to win convincingly to prove that. For Pacquiao, he has to show he still has that killer instinct that made him one of the best boxers of our generation. He has to erase that “compassionate” tag that has been planted on him by his own trainer.
Soon we will see which fighter has prepared himself mentally and physically for this fight. One thing that people do not talk about a lot is Bradley’s conditioning. He is probably the best conditioned fighter not named Mayweather. The guy is just a monster. Just looking at his abs is crazy! So when it comes to condition and endurance Bradley stands with the best.
For Bradley to win this fight, he has to outbox Pacquiao. Bradley will be dumb if he decides to go Toe to Toe with Pacquiao. That is not going to happen. The last time he tried that he almost got knocked out by Ruslan Provodnikov. I am not expecting a war in tonight’s fight. Bradley has the quickness to box, throw couple combinations and give Pacquiao different angles. If the Bradley that fought Juan Manuel Marquez shows up, his chances of winning are much higher than the Bradley who fought Provodnikov. Bradley has to use his speed and boxing ability to frustrate Pacquiao. One thing that I have noticed with Pacquiao is when he gets hit with a clean shot, he lowers his guard, slams his gloves as if to say, bring it on. If Bradley connects a solid shot against Manny and he ends up slamming his gloves, it is at that point that Bradley should try to connect with at least 2 more shots. I also think that Bradley should focus on attacking the body. Don’t spend to much attention going upstairs when the only way to neutralize Pacquiao’s speed is by taking his legs and that is pounding the body. If Bradley attacks the body early, we may see a tired Pacquiao in the later rounds therefore allowing Bradley to continue to box his way into a potential victory.
For Pacquiao to win this fight, he has to stay focus and discipline. He cannot allow himself to be taken away by the pressure of knocking out Bradley. He has to stick to his game plan and if the knock out comes, it comes. It will be interesting to see what Pacquaio does if he has Bradley very hurt. Will he try to jump on the occasion and go for the kill or will he have flashbacks of the Marquez fight when he tried to be too aggressive and was put to sleep. Pacquiao has to use his speed to his advantage. He has to throw 3-4 combinations, move around, land 2-3 more punches and use the whole ring to his advantage. Pacquiao also has to work the body. Bradley has a good defense so Manny should not focus to much on landing shots upstairs. He needs to pound Bradley’s body hoping that some of those shots will minimize his quickness. It will be interesting how Manny will show his old killer instinct.
If Bradley wins then this might be the end of Manny Pacquiao. Where would Pacquiao go after this loss? Would he consider retiring? Would he want another shot claiming he had a bad night? A Bradley win and it most likely guarantees him as being Arum’s new cash cow. It will put him in the Mayweather sweepstakes. But as long as Bradley is promoted by Top Rank, we can forget about seeing a possible Mayweather vs Bradley fight. I do see a Marquez vs Bradley 2 happening if Bradley wins and Marquez defeats Alvarado. Bradley has more options if he ends up beating Pacquiao.
A Pacquiao victory and it has to be in dramatic fashion, puts him back at the top of his game. Anything short of a knock out or unanimous decision and Pacquiao will not be given the same treatment as Mayweather has received in his previous fights. But a Pacquiao win will again start the rumors of a possible Mayweather vs Pacquiao fight. Boxing fans know that fight will never be made not because both fighters don’t want to fight each other. The fight will not be made because of Bob Arum. If Pacquiao really wants to fight Mayweather, he will need to wait til his contract with Top Rank is over or opt out for this one fight to make this fight. Mayweather will simply not negotiate with Bob Arum to make the fight. The history with Mayweather and Arum dates back to when Arum used to promote Mayweather. Their is a reason why Mayweather left Arum. Why De La Hoya left Arum. Why people in the boxing fraternity have stated that Pacquiao needs to leave Arum and become a free agent like Mayweather in order to make this fight and also to ensure that he receives the majority of his purse earnings.
My prediction is that Bradley going to outbox Pacquiao to still remain undefeated and retain his belt. I feel that Bob Arum is already thinking ahead and try to find out what fight would the winner take to make the most money. I think the question comes down to does a Marquez vs Bradley 2 make more money than a Pacquiao vs Bradley Trilogy. If Bob Arum is thinking about a Trilogy fight then I won’t be surprise if Pacquiao wins a close split decision. I think a close Pacquiao victory allows Bob Arum to use the Trilogy fight as “Plan C” meaning he will again talk about the Mayweather fight being his “first priority,” then he will revisit a potential 5th fight with Marquez but if none of those happen then he will consider a Pacquiao vs Bradley 3. That “plan C” is actually a “plan A,” but being the attorney that he is, he will do a great job as persuading the public that he is trying to give “fans what they want,” and that is a Mayweather fight. That will be all part of the plan.
Promoters do fights that will generate more income to their corporation. A convincing Pacquiao victory will leave Manny with few “in house” opponents, meaning Bob Arum only allows Pacquiao to find fighters that are promoted by Top Rank. The last fighter that Manny fought that was not promoted by Top Rank was Ricky Hatton and that was the last time that we saw a sensational knock out by Pacquiao. If Pacquaio were to score a knock out victory, the options would be Mayweather, Marquez 5, Provodnikov and Mikey Garcia. Mayweather won’t happen. Marquez 5 won’t happen. Marquez would be dumb to take the fight even if he is offered millions of dollars. Let the legacy between his fights with Pacquiao end with that devastating knock out punch. Provodnikov won’t happen because both fighters are trained by Roach but I do feel that if worst comes to worst that fight would have to be made simply because styles make fights. Mikey Garcia needs 2-3 fights before he is considered an opponent. Pacquiao’s pool of opponents would be so low if he ends up winning by a knock out that I would not be surprised if he ends up fighting Mike Alvarado as a “tune up” fight later this year. Having said all this, Pacquiao’s split decision victory over Bradley would allow Bob Arum that option of staging the Pacquiao vs Bradley Trilogy. Or could it be that Arum is already thinking of September and trying to make the Marquez vs Bradley 2 fight around Mexican Independence to increase his chances of profiting over that fight. We will have to see. Let’s hope tonight’s fight is a great fight and the judges score it correctly.