Pacquiao vs. Bradley: 7 Future Implications of Bradley's Win
Timothy Bradley shocked the world after pulling off a remarkable upset victory over the legendary Manny Pacquiao last Saturday in the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Bradley took the fight and Pacquiao's WBO World Welterweight Championship via split-decision with judges C.J. Ross and Duane Ford scoring the bout 115-133 in his favor and judge Jerry Roth being the lone opposition on the panel, scoring it numerically similar but in favor of Pacquiao.
Negative outcry was the general theme of the reactions from the boxing community regarding the decision, but of course there are a select number of individuals who truly believe that Bradley deserved the victory.
Although I for one believe that Bradley put on a strong enough performance and that the win was warranted, much of boxing's higher-echelon analysts would beg to differ.
A good portion of the boxing world was quick to jump on the "fix" accusation, making villains of Bradley, Arum, the judges, the mafia and even the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
Whether or not the fight was fixed or fair, the fact remains that Bradley won.
So here, step back from all the debate and agitation surrounding the fight and instead take a peek into what the future has in store for us in the aftermath of the fight.
Shift in Pound-for-Pound Power
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Call for controversy all you want, but that won't change the results of the fight and the requisite damage done.
The loss, however much you contest it, will still go down as a significant scathe on Manny Pacquiao's record and will still oust him from his shared position at the top of the pound-for-pound rankings across various publications.
Whether Pacquiao drops from the No. 1 spot, the No. 2 spot or a spot he shares with Floyd Mayweather, the action is inevitable.
Though the number of spots that will take a shift after this week remains to be seen, the fact is Pacquiao's fall and Bradley's reactant rise will change the game in terms of bargaining and marketing power.
All of a sudden Bradley finds himself in the company of the sport's most elite and finally sheds off the shadow of being unknown to certain casual fans.
Pacquiao becomes human, Bradley becomes a superstar and the claim to complete boxing supremacy now lies ultimately and indisputably in the hands of the undefeated champion, Mayweather.
Damage to Top Rank's Pay-Per-View Appeal
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Harsh criticism and statements on social media and television are never a good thing for any business, much more one that thrives on promotion.
With some of the most recognizable figures in the boxing business alleging and pointing fingers at Bob Arum and Top Rank Promotions for possibly being involved in fixing the fight against Manny Pacquiao's favor, chances are the trust and reliability factor that comes into play for a promotional company such as Top Rank will take a significant blow.
Statements comparing the beautiful sport of boxing to the shamelessly scripted displays of professional wrestling run rampant around the global audience and hordes of fans have come to the conclusion that a rematch between the two fighters would serve the sport as nothing more than another big payday for Top Rank.
This is an unfortunate side-effect of Manny Pacquiao being handed his first professional loss in the past seven years.
Whether people are upset about the decision, have bought into the controversy against Arum or simply cannot accept that the man they considered as the best fighter of the era was defeated by a next-generation superstar, sales and interest in Top Rank promoted fights are likely to suffer some kind of decline.
The routine of running in-house fights has grown weary on boxing's consumer base, which can happily move on to have their fight needs fulfilled by other big promotional companies like Goldenboy Promotions or Mayweather Promotions, both of which seem to have no problem working on collaborated bouts.
Rematch with Pacquiao in November
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Intermediately following the announcement of his victory, Timothy Bradley gave an interview to HBO and proceeded to offer Manny Pacquiao a rematch in November to silence the erupting crowd at the MGM Grand Garden Arena and the upset viewers at home.
Bradley said that with people not being satisfied with the victory, a rematch was in order with the Filipino contender.
Pacquiao was not one to give Bradley enough credit as he said that he truly believed he had won the fight instead of the American and that he could not see why he was not given the victory.
Pacquiao has a rematch clause in his contract with Bradley; if he follows through on his initial willingness to exercise that clause, that will set up a second meeting between the two on November 10th of this year.
The fight was definitely a firefight of sorts and the outcome, though debatable, was also quite understandable.
There were several rounds that were very close to score and Bradley showed great heart, effort and fundamental effectiveness throughout the fight.
The judging panel consisting of Duane Ford, CJ Ross and Jerry Roth are three respected and experienced figures in boxing and such a shallow allegation of fight-fixing seems far-fetched to me.
Punch statistics and Copy Box numbers do not always determine the winner of a fight, boxing is based on what the panel of the three ringside judges see with no outside influence whatsoever.
Though a rematch may finally silence the skeptics and doubters generated by this first bout, one must wonder whether the boxing audience will be willing to pay for another shot to see these two in action against one another.
Bradley Could Be Top Rank's Next Golden Boy
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This is the notion that started the all the allegations against Top Rank and Bob Arum.
Manny Pacquiao was on his way out and Timothy Bradley was the next big ticket. The set-up was perfect.
Have the aging legend face off against an undefeated, surging superstar in a potentially penultimate outing to strengthen his legacy, only to have the championship stripped away from him and his beyond-human aura erased.
Now there is a new champion, one that is young, undefeated and ready to reign for several years to come.
Conspiracy theorists suggest that Bradley's victory was a mere play at replacing Pacquiao as Top Rank's best prospect, but of course, have no grounds to solidify such an accusation.
Look at it in whatever way you wish, but Bradley will always be the man that put an end to Pacquiao's 15-fight winning streak and that is a serious marketing chip for any promotion.
As Arum himself stated at the post-fight presser, despite his disagreement with the decision, he was happy that Bradley would now have the opportunity to make a lot of money and also did not fail to mention that in the event of a rematch, he will as well.
Should Bradley replace Pacquiao as the Top Rank cornerstone and begin getting the bigger fights, it would be a surprise to no one, as even the luster of a career like Pacquiao's, has to someday come to an end.
May Set the Stage for Mayweather vs. Pacquiao
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Now that he has become the first to lose a bout since negotiations between Floyd Mayweather and himself had begun, Manny Pacquiao's weights on the scale of talks with Mayweather will be greatly reduced if ever such talks are to resume.
Mayweather now holds the top spot of the boxing world all to himself and what he says will most likely go.
Pacquiao's side will have a hard time justifying his clamor for a 50-percent split of fight profit and will likely receive an offer lower than the initial $40 million Mayweather put on the table in their latest negotiation.
Should Bob Arum and Top Rank realize that this fight is still what a vast majority of boxing fans would like to see and finally fold and accept the now seemingly reasonable terms Mayweather had been putting forward, the super fight the world has been dreaming about may finally become a reality.
The most likely date for the fight to take place would be early in 2013, giving Pacquiao time to recover from a potential November match against Timothy Bradley, and Mayweather enough time to get back into condition and respectable fighting form after serving his time in prison.
May Set the Stage for Mayweather vs. Bradley
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After taking out Manny Pacquiao, the next person on Timothy Bradley's mind should be the reigning pound-for-pound king, Floyd Mayweather.
If it weren't for Pacquiao's rematch contract clause and the heavy opposition towards the given decision, that should certainly be the case.
However, it looks as if Bradley must face the Filipino contender one more time and if he is victorious, he would have the best shot at taking on Mayweather before the undefeated king retires.
The only two relevant options for Mayweather at that point would be Bradley or Pacquiao, so if one fight doesn't fall into place, the other one likely will.
Either way, it will be a great thing for the sport of boxing.
Ushers in the New Generation of Boxing Superstars
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Now that virtually every top-rated fighter over the age of 30 on the pound-for-pound rankings other than Floyd Mayweather has suffered a recent and notable defeat, it is clear that boxing is in need of a new set of stars to succeed the eminence that Pacquiao, Cotto, Mayweather and company has so far established.
Timothy Bradley's win over Pacquiao could very well be the beginning of a new era forming faster than any of us could have expected.
An era where the big fights come with the names of Yuriorkis Gamboa, Nonito Donaire, Jessie Vargas, Victor Ortiz, etc.
Pacquiao has hinted at retirement a good number of times in the past and Mayweather has already given 37 as the age that which he will retire. It may take a little more time, but the sun is slowly setting on a wonderful and talented set of fighters.
That said, a new generation of fighters is waiting at the wings and Bradley's victory may have been the first big step on their road to taking over boxing's landscape.
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