By Reg Garland
Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao is finally taking on an opponent much younger than him and in his prime. The opponent he will be facing on June 9, 2012 is 28-year-old Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley (28-0-12KOs) an undefeated durable and crafty fighter.
No matter who you like in boxing, you gotta give the Pacman props for taking on such a dangerous opponent at this stage in his career. I’ve had my criticisms of Manny Pacquiao in the past, but there is no denying his impact on the sport of boxing, he is a global name and helped bring more attention to the sport with his crowd pleasing style.
This match-up is a very risky one for Manny Pacquiao because at 33-years-old Manny is no longer a spring chicken, he has slowed down a lot in the past year alone. If you watch Manny Pacquiao’s recent fights with Sugar Shane Mosley and Juan Manuel Marquez, you will see him struggling against opponents no longer in their prime and having difficulty applying his famous bunny hop, in and out, ambush attack. Pacquiao complained of cramping in his legs that hindered the spring in his step, but the way I look at it, this could be a sign of aging more than over-training.
I’ve studied Timothy Bradley’s fights and he isn’t pretty but he gets the job done. With Bradley you have a fighter who is a worker, he is like a blue collar throwback type fighter with a lot of crafty techniques that he uses to win fights without taking much damage. Bradley will hit you and than immediately tie up on the inside, and he grinds his head on the opponents chest and many times he head butts his opponents, which he claims is accidental. If you look at Bradley against southpaw boxers he does extremely well, he can also adapt to an opponents style, he can fight you on the inside and he can box from the outside while backing up.
The Pacman might open up as the betting favorite but I would strongly favor Timothy Bradley in this fight. The only advantage I would give to Manny Pacquiao over Timothy Bradley is punching power, everything else is pretty much equal, both similar in height, extremely muscular, and have tons of stamina to go the distance. Manny Pacquiao might have more experience but with all his experience he has yet to learn how to fight on the inside or to cut the ring off properly, something Bradley is great at. I can see this being one of Manny’s toughest fights because unlike Marquez, Bradley will bring the fight to him and make it rough. I will have to see how their training camps go first before making my official prediction, but right now this is a 50-50 fight with a slight lean toward Bradley, and I wouldn’t be shocked if Timothy Bradley pulls off the upset.
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