It's all over but the fighting. Both Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley made weight ahead of their massive rematch on Saturday.
Pacquiao tipped the scales at 145 pounds, and Bradley was a half-pound heavier, at 145.5, per HBO Boxing:
The prospect of either fighter failing to make the 147-pound welterweight limit seemed scarce going in, so it wasn't much of a surprise that both guys were in such great shape.
Bradley did turn some heads, though, with how well he prepared himself physically for the fight. ESPN's Dan Rafael used the word "shredded" to describe his physique:
If you can call either fighter a winner in a weigh-in, then the designation should be reserved for "Desert Storm." In addition to his great shape, Bradley played the role of pantomime villain to a T, per boxing writer Bryan Armen Graham:
Bradley wore all black and emerged to a cascade of boos. He did not ask for the heel role, but he is playing the cards he was dealt.— Bryan Armen Graham (@BryanAGraham) April 11, 2014
To call the previous fight controversial would be an understatement. Boxing fans were in an uproar upon hearing Bradley earned a split-decision victory.
Ever since that win, Bradley's been hearing about how Pacquiao wiped the floor with him and was the true victor. Judging by his weigh-in and what he had to say after, he knows how much is on the line in this bout.
Bradley understands that if the result is in the judges' hands again, he's probably not going to get quite as lucky the second time around. With that in mind, he's prepared to go on the offensive.
One of the bigger takeaways from Friday afternoon was Joel Diaz's comments that Bradley is "gonna go down swinging" if need be.
That's how Desert Storm's trainer answered when he was asked by HBO's Max Kellerman about whether Bradley might be able to knock out an opponent of Pacquiao's caliber. Diaz said that if he and the rest of Bradley's corner sense that the fight is beyond the boxer in terms of the judges' scorecards, they'll instruct him to go for a quick knockout.
Bradley, when interviewed by Kellerman, responded that he's "gotta knock Pacquiao out."
"I gotta knock him out. I don't want it to go to the scorecards," he added.
Some might argue that going in with that kind of game plan would be suicidal. Despite his apparent loss in knockout power, if this fight turns into a slugfest, Pacquiao is the big benefactor.
Bradley has never been confused for a knockout artist. Only 12 of his wins have come via KO. He relies far more on his speed and defense.
A change in strategy that big could throw off Pacquiao if he's only prepared to box a defensive counter-puncher. But he told Kellerman that he's ready for whatever style Bradley utilizes.
Pac-Man will enter the bout as the favorite. In the first fight, he out-punched Bradley 253-159 and connected with 34 percent of his punches, compared to 19 percent for his opponent, according to CompuBox.
Desert Storm isn't lacking in confidence, though:
Given everything that's happened leading up to this rematch, Saturday should be a great night of boxing, and hopefully it will eliminate any doubt as to the two boxers' career arcs.
Fans will finally see whether Bradley's win was a fluke or he's the real deal. There's also the question as to whether Pacquiao is on a much steeper decline than previously thought a year or two ago.