As a crowd of reporters converged on Pacquiao firing away questions, one reported came at Pacquiao with the religious aspect. “What did God say to you?” Almost appalled as to what that question had to do with Bradley, Pacquiao responded, “Just to do my best.” He let off a smile and went the normal Manny Pacquiao way, “He did his training and I did my training, we’re focused on each other, just to give the fans a good fight and it will be a good fight.”
The fight is close on the odds and depending who you talk to, the first fight was a Pacquiao steamroll or a close Bradley decision with the thought of HBO bias in the minds of most. CJ Ross scored the fight for Bradley and that was controversial enough. She is also the holder of the famous 114-114 scorecard in the Mayweather-Canelo fight. But even to this day, Pacquiao isn’t up in arms and isn’t reflecting on the previous fight.
“CJ Ross?” Pacquaio said.”I don’t care about the scorecard. I always trust in confidence in the judges and commissions. I’m the kind of person that I don’t like to complain, what happened in the 1st fight happened, no complaints, it’s our journey in life.”
It’s a journey where 2 men will enter the ring on different stratospheres from the 1st fight. One is out to prove he is one of the best despite losing two of his last 3 fights; the other is out to prove he is elite and should be considered as a top 3 fighter in the sport. If you were to judge both fighters from where there are now in comparison to their first fight, the consensus is Pacquiao is on the decline, while Tim Bradley has an ascending trend where many feel he is the only challenge to Floyd Mayweather. Is this Tim Bradley the best fighter Pacquiao has faced?
“I cannot say he’s the best, he’s one of the best,” responded Pacquiao. Bradley and his team have said this is a better Bradley and that this fight might end in a KO. When Pacquiao was asked about Bradley’s power, he paused, “On his power?” A reported in the crowd joked, “Below zero?” Pacquiao laughed, “No, his power is a 6 on a scale from 1-10.”
If the fight is to end in a knockout, the odds are that it wouldn’t be Bradley getting the knockout. But the vision of a careless Manny Pacquiao running into a stiff Marquez right hand dropping to the canvas lying motionless will always be in the back of many minds. But Pacquiao says that’s not happening. “I learned and I think I can fight smart. I proved it already in the Rios fight.”
Its cliché, but the notion of we will find out exactly where Manny Pacquiao is in terms of his career as a prizefighter holds true. Yes, he won basically every round versus Brandon Rios. But Rios as tough as he is doesn’t possess the hand or foot speed of Tim Bradley. Rios does not possess the ring IQ of Tim Bradley. Plain and simple, Rios isn’t Tim Bradley. So what does Pacquiao do to prove the judges and the world that he is still an elite prizefighter?
“I have to prove to them and win convincingly,” stated Pacquiao. Does convincing mean knockout? “If that were possible and he gives me the chance, I’m going to go for the knockout.”