Top Rank Promotions returns to the Pay-Per-View spotlight on Saturday night as HBO PPV will be live from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. In a rematch from a controversial decision from June of 2012, Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao will be trying to regain his WBO Welterweight title against Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley in a fight that besides Floyd Mayweather will have the 2 best welterweight fighters in the world. While Pacquiao will be trying to regain what he felt he never lost that fight, Bradley will be trying to earn the respect and credit that he seems to lose that fight, by no fault of his own.
There really is much more to be said about Manny Pacquiao that you probably don’t already know. He is 1 of the all-time best, he’s the only 8 division world champion in the history of the sport, and even at 35, he is still looked at as 1 of the top 5 best pound for pounds in the sport today. He will be entering the ring with a 55-5-2 record with 38 KOS. He is coming off a dominating win over Brandon Rios in Macau, China last November. Prior to that, he had the controversial loss to Bradley, and before that it was the punch heard around the world as he was KO’d by his long-time rival Juan Manuel Marquez. He is hoping to show that he still has some fuel left in the tank and to right what he felt was wrong in the 2012 fight.
Timothy Bradley is, on the books, still an undefeated fighter at 31-0 with 12 KOs. Despite what people have said about him because of the decision again Pacquiao, he is still a top 5 skilled fighter in the world, in any weight class. He has beaten the likes of Kendall Holt, Nate Campbell, Lamont Peterson, Devon Alexander, and more recently Ruslan Provodnikov and Juan Manuel Marquez. Even with all of those victories over those top boxers, he is still not given the credit that he deserves, partly because he doesn’t have much power, partly because people hold the Pacquiao fight as a black mark. He hopes to erase the memory of that fight and that he is the 2nd best pound for pound fighter in the world.
Most people that I have talked to fell that Pacquiao will actually stop Bradley in this one. I, however, think this will definitely go to the cards. Bradley doesn’t have enough power to really hurt Pacquiao, but Bradley has more than proved his heart as he clearly showed that against Provodnikov, fighting the entire fight with a concussion, but not staying down. I think this fight will be closer than the 1st fight and could be a 6-6, 7-5 type fight, with even Bradley finishing on the better end, however, I think they “owe” Pacquiao one. Because of that, and because I think there will eventually be a 3rd fight, I’m going to pick Pacquaio by split decision. Why split decision? Because there is always that 1 judge that makes you shake your head.
If you watched the 1st fight by these 2 extremely highly skilled fighters, most of you probably had Pacquiao winning. On my personal scorecard I had it 8-4 in favor of Pac man, with a small possibility for 7-5. The weird thing about the 1st fight is if you listened to the HBO commentators, you probably had it 12-0 Pacquiao as they seemed to be almost rooting for him. But also, if you see replays of the fight, Pacquiao didn’t connect as much as you may have believed. The other weird part is if you ask the “experts” which rounds you gave to Bradley, everyone seemed to give him different rounds. To me it shows that the fight was very hard to judge because it depends on if you reward defense. Either way, this is a can’t miss bout to showcase the beauty and the elegance of the Sweet Science, enjoy the fights.