Pacquiao vs. Bradley: Why Pacquiao Has Early Edge

Ryan PhillipsContributor IIIMay 16, 2012

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 21:  Manny Pacquiao (L) and Timothy Bradley pose fpr photographers at a press conference announcing their upcoming World Boxing Organization welterweight championship fight at The Beverly Hills Hotel on February 21, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley will square off on June 9 in Las Vegas and the Filipino fighter is an overwhelming favorite because he is simply a much better all-around boxer than Bradley.

Under the tutelage of trainer Freddy Roach, Pacquiao has gone from a quick, one-handed, power puncher to a two-handed, incredibly skilled all-around fighter. While Bradley is 28-0 in his career, he only has 12 knockouts, which means Pacquiao won't be worried about getting hit with thudding power punches. 

Bradley is a skilled boxer and should be able to counter-punch against Pacquiao, he's not good enough to win a fight with the world's top pound-for-pound fighter by just waiting for him to come in and taking hits to get in a few shots.

Pacquiao will likely do what he always does: come forward relentlessly and batter his opponent from all angles. That strategy will leave him open to taking counter-punches as it always does, but he won't be afraid of taking hard shots from Bradley. "Desert Storm" just doesn't have enough power to knock the Filipino congressman out.

Another factor in this fight will be size, as Pacquiao will actually be bigger than Bradley. He is a natural welterweight (147 pounds) and his WBO welterweight title will be on the line. Bradley will be coming up from junior welterweight (140 pounds) to match up with the champion. 

Bradley's last two fights have been stopped early, one from a technical decision due to a cut to opponent Devon Alexander, and an eighth-round TKO win against an over-matched Joel Casamayor. 

Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 KOs) is coming off a majority decision win over Juan Manuel Marquez, in a fight that was as razor close as the two previous fights between them. It was considered a disappointing showing for Pac-Man, but Marquez is the essentially the perfect fighter to combat his style. He seems to be the one guy who can compete with Pacquiao.

Over his last 15 fights, Pacquiao is 15-0 with eight knockouts. That winning streak, which has been going since 2005, doesn't look like it will end on June 9.