By John F. McKenna
Undefeated WBO light welterweight champion Timothy Bradley (28-0-1 NC, 12 KO’s) may be more of a challenge than Team Pacquiao originally thought him to be. “Desert Storm” has a reputation for being a very tough fighter and has exhibited that numerous times against quality opponents. Bradley holds convincing wins over new WBA/IBF light welterweight champion Lamont Peterson (30-1-1, 15 KO’s) and Devon Alexander (23-1, 13 KO’s).
Bradley, although not always impressive, does what it takes to win. Granted, he has never fought anyone on the level of WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 KO’s), but Bradley believes that Mexican WBO/WBA lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez (53-6-1, 39 KO’s) laid out the blueprint for him to follow. Marquez proved beyond a doubt that Pacquiao is indeed human and beatable. Bradley feels that with him being younger, stronger and faster than Marquez he stands a very good chance at upsetting the Filipino icon.
Bradley at 28 is in his prime and only figures to get better at what he does. He is a student of the game and has studied Manny’s fights on film. At this point he knows all of Manny’s tricks of the trade. Pacquiao will not bring anything into the ring that Timothy has not seen before. The one thing Bradley does concede is that Pacquiao has more power than he does and may be slightly faster, although he points out that he too is fast.
Bradley adds that he is always in shape, which will leave him more time to devote to adapting to Manny’s style. “Desert Storm” also believes that some members of Team Pacquiao have underestimated him in the past and may continue to do so. In Bradley’s opinion underestimating him can only work to his advantage. Bradley points out that prior to Manny’s fight with Marquez, his strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza and trainer Freddie Roach were both predicting easy wins for Pacquiao.
Some boxing observers are pointing out that Bradley is a very hungry fighter and that huge upsets can happen when a fighter is hungry. The history of boxing is replete with instances in which fighters, who seemingly had no chance wound up being victorious.
If Bradley fails in his bid to defeat Pacquiao it will not be for the lack of confidence and hard work.
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