Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley: Why Pacman Must Win to Keep Sport Alive
All the kudos in the world to Tim Bradley for his undefeated boxing record and his light welterweight championship, but Manny Pacquaio needs to defeat him in order to keep boxing relevant.
Every time that Pacquaio or boxing's other poster boy Floyd Mayweather steps into the ring with anyone other than each other, fans feel cheated out of an epic bout, and this fight Pacman has with Bradley is no different.
Boxing hasn't been a major deal in the world of sports since "Iron" Mike Tyson's fall from fame several years ago, and while Mayweather and Pacquaio are some of the best talent the ring has seen in recent memory, neither can afford to lose and have their star-power take a hit.
The fight between the two boxing powerhouses needs to take place in order for boxing to really get back on its feet, but that bout won't mean nearly as much if Pacman loses to Bradley on June 9.
If Pacquaio loses, boxing analysts will have several months to criticize the Filipino politician for taking on too many endorsements and spending too much time on out-of-the-ring projects.
Those endorsement opportunities that many will point to as a distraction if Pacman loses will also dwindle, because as the old saying goes: "you're only as good as your last fight."
That doesn't mean that Pacquaio and Mayweather should limit themselves to fighting scrub opponents however, and Bradley is one hell of a fighter, but Money and Pacman must keep their current undefeated streaks alive until they lock horns.
While boxing enthusiasts probably wouldn't mind seeing one of the two biggest names go down and enjoy a little upset, the sport itself will take a hit June 9 if Pacman suffers his first defeat since losing to Rustico Torrecampo back in 2009.
Casual boxing and potential boxing fans don't want to watch a boxer they've probably only recently heard about in Bradley take it to arguably the best and most well-known fighter in the sport. That's simply not good for the business side of boxing for the short and long term.
If Pacman loses, casual fans lose interest, potential fans don't become fans and Mayweather loses incentive to fight Pacquaio.
Mayweather has been finding ways to dodge the man he's been tied to for more than a year now, and if the 33-year-old Pacman were to lose to Bradley, then Money could use that to claim there's no reason for him to fight a guy who couldn't defeat a boxer of lesser skills than himself.
While Bradley is a fine fighter and will surely give Pacquaio a worthy fight, for the sake of boxing "Desert Storm" Bradley cannot win this upcoming battle.
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