There seems to be a lot of speculation about the upcoming Pacquiao-Bradley fight, with a growing minority expecting Pacquiao to struggle mightily with Bradley, or even perhaps to lose to the man they call the "Desert Storm."
Well, I'm here to tell you that Pacquiao will not struggle at all with Bradley. The way I see it, Pacquiao likely will win every single round against Bradley or make him quit on his stool. Here's why:
Bradley's style is perfect for Manny Pacquiao
I'm not saying Bradley isn't a good fighter; I think he's an excellent pugilist. He's an undefeated champion in his prime, and he's more than capable of competing at the highest level in the sport. He has a (usually) fan-friendly style, and he's a determined, extremely well conditioned warrior.
However, his style is tailor-made for Pacquiao. Bradley comes straight forward and, despite being one of the more athletically gifted fighters around, doesn't really utilize lateral movement as much as he should. Maybe he'll employ more of a side-to-side motion in this fight. If he doesn't, he's in for a long night with the Pac Man come Saturday.
Bradley will walk into something big
This goes hand in hand with what I already discussed, but as Bradley uses a come forward, mauling and brawling type of style, he is also vulnerable to a fighter who is quick enough to counter his advances and has feet fast enough to play matador to Bradley's bull.
In this fight, I see Bradley pushing his way forward and getting careless and walking into a big shot from Pacquiao. While a lot of people may disagree with this sentiment, what happened the last time Pacquiao fought a come forward guy who wanted to fight him on the inside?
Who ya got?
Ask Ricky Hatton how it worked out. Answer: It wasn't pretty. Hatton was destroyed. While I see Bradley as a better all-around fighter than Hatton, he shouldn't overlook Pacquiao's ability to blitz an opponent who walks in and tries to brawl.
Bradley doesn't have a plan B
I've watched most of Bradley's championship fights, and while I admire his courage and heart—and I'm genuinely a fan of his—he doesn't really show a tremendous ability to adjust mid-fight, which Marquez showed is the key to defeating Pacquiao.
While my detractors may point to the Bradley vs. Holt fight, in which Bradley was dropped hard in the first and came back to win about nine of the last eleven ounds against Holt, he didn't really make any stylistic adjustments; he just got more aggressive and dug in.
Maybe Bradley will prove me wrong and make adjustments on the fly against Pacquiao and confuse the Filipino slugger enough to make the fight interesting. If he doesn't, there's no way he can defeat Manny Pacquiao on June 9th.
Pacquiao is just the better fighter
What it all comes down to at the end of the day is who is the better fighter. Bradley can prepare all he wants and get into the best condition he can, but Pacquiao is just better. He's faster, has better power, better footwork, is more intelligent, has a better chin and the list goes on.
Bradley is a class fighter, but Pacquiao is in another league. If Pacquiao were to lose on Saturday, I, unlike many boxing experts, would be shocked. Bradley may make it competitive early, but Pacquiao's superior skills will take over, and he'll rout Bradley on Saturday night.
But anything can happen in boxing as we've seen countless times over the years. Feel free to comment and disagree with me, as this fight certainly can be looked at from many different angles. Tune in June 9th to see what happens.
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