Fight fans, we are back once again. It's already just one month later at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for the return of the other biggest star of the boxing world, Manny Pacquiao.
The Filipino congressman will be returning to the ring this Saturday, June 9th to defend his WBO welterweight title against the undefeated former king of the 140 lbs division, Timothy "Desert Storm" Bradley.
Bradley has a perfect record of 28 wins 12 KOs and no losses. Desert Storm has fought above the 140-lbs limit several times but never against any of the top elite of 147 lbs yet, although he is regarded by many as the man at 140 lbs, having beaten most of the top elite at that weight.
Pacquiao is coming off of a highly controversial, majority decision win over his long-time, inside-the-ring nemesis Juan Manuel Marquez. Many feel Manny did not look like himself, and many even thought that he lost to Marquez that night.
Since then much of the media attention has been focused on Pacquiao's sudden spiritual awakening more so than his actual training or the fight with Bradley.
Although initially when this fight was announced the Filipino champion was a heavy favorite to win, since then many boxing experts and media outlets are split on how the Pacquiao vs. Bradley fight will actually go down on June 9th, given Manny's poor performance last November and the heart and will of the hungry undefeated Bradley.
So we here at the Bleacher Report Boxing Community have some of the finest writers and boxing experts available to offer you our expertise.
So without further ado, let's see what the top writers of the Bleacher Report Boxing Community have to say about Saturday's big fight. Shall we?
King J, Bleacher Report Boxing Community Leader/Featured Columnist
A lot of people are telling me they think Pacquiao will bust a "Ricky Hatton" on Bradley this Saturday night. The Pacquiao who fought Ricky Hatton back in 2009 would bust a "Ricky Hatton" on Bradley had they fought in 2009, but the problem is it's 2012 and Manny has been through a lot of wars and his body has absorbed a ton of damage.
The real question is which Pacquiao will show up Saturday night in that ring? Manny has a lot to prove to the fans and media after looking so awful against JMM in November.
I think this fight will most closely resemble the Pacquiao vs. Mosley fight, but way more competitive. Manny will have his moments early on and might actually knock down Bradley, but Bradley will get up, fight on and try to smother Manny as he pretty much does to all his other opponents. Will Manny be able to keep Bradley off of him and be able to counter accurately? Not if his leg cramps enter into the ring as they supposedly did for his last two fights.
Look, let's keep it 100, you need to knock out Pacquiao in order to beat him as long as that frustrating fantasy fight is still possible against Floyd Mayweather. Bradley, as good as he is, does not have the power to knock out Pacquiao. So Pacquiao will get the "W" come Saturday night, but the real question is: Will he truly earn the win like the "Pac Man"/"Destroyer" that he once was, or will he win it looking like a "Congressman" who will be the new spokesman for a new leg cramp medicine?
Mick Ackers , Featured Columnist
Manny Pacquiao will be in for a long night on June 9, as Timothy Bradley is going to make a name for himself and pull the shocking upset.
Look for Bradley’s fight style to cause all sorts of problems for the heavily-favored Pacquiao, giving the eight-division champ all he can handle.
I think the fight will go the full 12 rounds and go to a decision in slight favor of Bradley.
Prediction: Bradley by decision, 115-113
This will be a close and competitive fight. A lot of people are predicting a knockout, but I don’t see that happening. Bradley is a strong competitor who has a lot of heart. He won’t rush forward like Arum, Roach or Pacquiao thinks. He’ll try to box Pacquiao and fight smart.
Pacquiao will have trouble with Bradley, and there will be some close rounds. In the end, Bradley will look as if he won the fight or lost the fight by a very close margin. Pacquiao will most likely get the nod in a close fight on the cards.
Joseph Santoliquito, Featured Columnist/ RING Magazine Managing Editor
I see this as a great fight. Bradley will keep on coming and force Pacquiao into areas he hasn’t explored in some time.
But in the end, Pacquiao is slightly larger, and his superior size and punching power will have considerable bearing on the outcome.
The pounding by the courageous Bradley will eventually have a telling effect, and Pac-Man will win by split-decision. But Tim Bradley has far more fans after this one.
Pacquiao split decision: 115-113 (2 for Pacquiao); 115-113 for Bradley.
I have Pacquiao knocking out Bradley in the fourth.
Brian Mazique , Featured Columnist/One-Time Prediction Contest Champion
Bradley Split Decision, 115-113 on two cards, 113-114 on third.
Justin Tate , Featured Columnist/One-Time Prediction Contest Champion
Many factors are in play here. Manny Pacquiao has much more trouble with fighters his own size with speed and boxing ability as demonstrated by Juan Manuel Marquez. But Timothy Bradley is not just a small fighter who can box. He’s aggressive, and that can either play in Bradley’s favor or to Pacquiao’s advantage.
Pacquiao doesn’t normally fight fighters with the amount of hand speed Bradley has. His mixture of flurries and boxing ability could cause Pacquiao to freeze up, miss wild shots and take a lot of punishment without being able to return it.
Or Pacquiao’s bigger punching power could show its weight during exchanges and make up for every shot Pacquiao happens to miss.
Kendall Holt was a hard puncher, but only for a junior welterweight, and he managed to drop Bradley…hard.
If Holt, a junior welterweight, could hurt Bradley, what could Manny Pacquiao do to him?
If Bradley survives Pacquiao’s punching power okay, then maybe he could outbox Pacquiao to a possible decision win.
Chances are that it won’t happen though. I’m going with a knockout in Round 6. But if Bradley survives while trying to do more than survive, I predict a unanimous decision victory in his favor, 116-112.
Allan Jiang , Featured Columnist
Manny Pacquiao lost a step against Juan Manuel Márquez and was fortunate not to lose the fight.
The problem with Timothy Bradley is he doesn’t possess knock out power—KO’ing Joel Casamayor, who had marijuana in his system, is no achievement.
Bradley’s tendency to headbutt is as frequent as Andrew Golota’s groin shots. That’s an area Pacquiao needs to be concerned about.
If anything, 24/7 foreshadowed a boring fight and we’ll probably get a boring fight. Hopefully Pacquiao wins, so we can all finally watch Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Pacquiao Unanimous Decision: 119-108
Leo Reyes, Featured Columnist / Ring Live Sports Editor
Pacquiao KO/TKO 8.
Ever since his highly controversial decision last November against Juan Manuel Marquez, Pacquiao has had to listen to people say he has lost a step, he’s too unfocused, he can’t beat Floyd, etc...
But I think he proves the doubters wrong in this fight and puts on his best performance in years.
I think Bradley’s come-forward style is perfect for Manny, and as long as he can stay out of the way of Bradley’s head, he’ll score his first knockout since 2009.
Pacquiao TKO in Round 10.
Make no mistake, this will be a competitive fight. Expect a feeling-out process for the first couple rounds with some tough frames to score.
I suspect Pacquiao will gradually start to figure Bradley out and get the better of the fight’s most meaningful exchanges in the middle rounds.
Bradley, knowing he’s a bit behind, will amp up his activity later in the fight, but ultimately it’ll be too late. Expect fireworks in the championship rounds as both combatants will be in exceptional shape.
Verdict: Pacquiao by decision (116-112)
Bradley is going to win the fight, though he won’t knock Pac-Man out. He will win the judges over by attacking, and then he’ll attack some more.
Final score: Bradley over Pacquiao in a unanimous decision, 117-113.
Manny Pacquiao is coming off his razor-thin decision victory over Juan Manuel Marquez but will be facing an undefeated, legitimate opponent in Timothy Bradley.
This will be the the biggest test in Bradley’s career. Pacquiao will pick Bradley apart, earning the knockout in round 8.
, Featured Columnist
I like Timothy Bradley—he is not only a tremendous athlete and boxer but is a great man in general. His boxing abilities and attributes are unquestioned, and his heart is what got him this far.
Having said that, stylistically, Pacquiao will be his one and only nightmare. Don’t get me wrong, I hope this fight turns out to be a good one, and the winner has to work hard for his victory, whoever it may end up being.
My prediction: Pacquiao punches very hard, and he can do it all night long. Bradley’s defense is not all that great, he comes in head first (he will not change just for this fight) and likes to brawl, both of which will cost him the fight. Manny via a KO in Round 9.
Dave Carlson, One-Time Prediction Contest Champion
If anyone gets knocked down or KO'd, it will be Bradley. However, I think Bradley will win six rounds but narrowly lose to Pacquiao on two of the scorecards: 114-114, 115-113, 116-112 with the last two being for Pacquiao.
So there you have it fight fans, the boxing experts of the Bleacher Report Boxing Community have once again spoken, locked in their predictions, and we shall see who are the true boxing gurus and who needs to keep his mouth shut.
For all the best Pacquiao vs. Bradley fight coverage and post-fight analysis, make sure to check into the Bleacher Report Boxing Community.
"Pacquiao vs. Bradley” takes place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas Saturday, June 9 at 9:00 p.m. (ET)/6:00 p.m. (PT), and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View®.
King J is the Bleacher Report Boxing Community Leader and a Featured Columnist. All prediction statements were submitted to him verbatim from the top contributing writers to be used in this collaboration prediction piece.
King J will have the honor of covering the Pacquiao vs Bradley fight live at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas this weekend.
Follow on Twitter: @KingJ323
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