Manny Pacquiao: What Pac-Man Must Do to Defeat Timothy BradleyMay 8, 2012
Manny Pacquiao will attempt to defend his WBO welterweight title against undefeated Timothy Bradley next month. He'll also be hoping to match Floyd Mayweather's victory over Miguel Cotto to ensure his super fight rival doesn't get the upper hand.
Let's take a look at three things "Pac-Man" must do to hand Bradley his first career fight. It's a chance for Bradley to make a name for himself in a major way, so he's going to do everything within his power to surprise Pacquiao.
Gain Early Edge
The last thing Pacquiao wants is for Bradley to build up any confidence. Bradley enters the fight as a sizable underdog due to his lack of marquee wins, but the longer Pacquiao lets him keep things close, the more belief he will have that he can pull off an upset.
That's why it's imperative for "Pac-Man" to come out and try to win the first couple rounds. Taking control early will make the doubt that probably already exists in Bradley's mind to become more prevalent. The sooner that happens, the easier the fight will be for Pacquiao.
He wasn't able to gain the edge against Juan Manuel Marquez in his last fight, and that ended up making it closer than the eight-division champion wanted. So look for Pacquiao to come flying out of the gates this time around.
Another one of Pacquiao's problems against Marquez was an unusual level of tentativeness. Marquez's counterattacking style really stymied "Pac-Man" throughout the fight and caused him to sit back on his heels a lot more than fans are used to seeing.
No matter what approach Bradley takes, Pacquiao must stay on the attack throughout the fight. The more energy he forces the light welterweight champion to use on defense, the less he'll have to mount any type of comeback later in the fight.
Pacquiao has enough power and quickness to beat anybody on the planet. So he has to stick with his game plan regardless of what his opponent is doing. He didn't do that against Marquez, and things ended up getting a little shaky.
Utilize Big-Fight Experience
Every Pacquiao fight has become a major event, so he knows what it's like to deal with all the hype leading up to fight night. Bradley, on the other hand, will be facing the added pressure for the first time, putting him at a disadvantage.
The best thing Pacquiao can do is use the crowd to his advantage. If he starts landing some shots early, they will start going crazy and Bradley won't know how to react. More adversity for the challenger gives "Pac-Man" a wider margin for error.
All told, Pacquiao should come out on top, but he can't afford to have a lackluster performance because Bradley has enough weapons to shock the world. If the Filipino superstars does all three of these things well, he'll cruise to another win.