Pacquiao/Bradley Just the Facts!

by Robert Jackson: When Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley meet in the ring Tomorrow night in the Las Vegas’ MGM Grand it will be the 30th title fight for the champion Pacquiao and the 17th fight under the Guidance of Trainer Freddie Roach. 140lb champion Bradley will be fighting in his 2nd fight at the 147lb weight class.

What sets these two fighters apart and the attributes that will determine their chances for winning will be discussed, followed by a prediction.

Trainers provide a pre-fight program for a fighter to prepare them for battle so that’s where we’ll begin.

Freddie Roach as previously mentioned, has trained and cornered Pacman for 16 fights and steady improvement in the skills department had been made by Manny under his watch.. The Right hand has been developed into an devestating weapon by Roach to complement Pacquiao’s already potent left hand. Pacquiao’s defense has also improved but…Pacman still gets hit a lot. Roach is a proven trainer of champions whose stable includes Amir Khan, Vanes Martyrosian and Lateef Kayode to name a few, with Pacquiao as his star pupil.

Joel Diaz who trains Timothy Bradley has quietly brought Timothy Bradley along to where he’s at now. With wins over Kendall Holt and Devon Alexander on his resume, Diaz has established himself as a top trainer in boxing. Bradley’s defensive ability has developed steadily as has his combination punching, with Diaz at the helm. One knock on Bradley could be his lack of punching power only registering 12 KO’s in 28 fights.

Trainers: Advantage Pacquiao.

Besides trainers the Training that both fighters undergo pre-fight must be discussed.

Pacman as usual works the mitts, hits the bags, and engages in strength and conditioning drills with Alex Ariza? What Ariza was able to accomplish with Pacman this training camp is hard to know at this point and will only tell during the fight. The past 2 fights Manny has complained of legs cramps that he said affected his mobility, these cramps S&C coach Ariza has been unable to pinpoint and remedy. Freddie Roach has said the cramps are overuse injuries and strain due to Pacquiao playing a lot of basketball during training camp, and has forbid Pacquiao from playing basketball while training for this fight.

Timothy Bradley, works with his father for Strength and Conditioning and based on his work with his father you can see where Bradley’s muscular physique comes from. Contrary to the usual ‘boxing best practices’, Bradley lifts very heavy weights in preparation for his fights and his bulky musculature exhibits this. In Bradley’s defense this type of training is the norm for him and has served him to a 28 – 0 record. Bradley works the bags, mitts and usual boxing routines too, but the weight lifting he does which is more common to bodybuilding is out of the ordinary for a boxer.

Training: Advantage Even – only because Pacquiao’s prep with Ariza is an unknown quantity and whether Bradley’s weight lifting will slow him down.

Experience is an important factor for fighters, let’s consider it.

Manny Pacquiao with a limited amateur career will be fighting in his 60th pro bout. Amongst his opponents are a who’s who of boxing top fighters including Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto and Oscar De La Hoya, fighters where Pacquiao got the victory in dominating fashion.

Timothy Bradley who fought Andre Berto, Alfredo Angulo and Vanes Martirosyan as an amateur had his biggest win in 28 fights as a professional over Devon Alexander, and has fought nowhere near the level of fighters as his opponent on Saturday has. Bradley’s experience to gain his 140lb belt, saw him going over to England and beating then champion and journeyman Junior Witter and later unify against Alexander.

Experience: Advantage Pacquiao

Intangibles are abstract assets or qualities that both fighters will bring into the ring.

Pacquiao in the past has come into the ring with a determination unmatched to overcome his critics and also his bigger opponents – in most cases being the much smaller man. Weaknesses surfaced in his past two fights including but not confined to the leg cramps he suffered during those fights. Against Mosley and Marquez his focus wasn’t as narrow as it had been against previous opponents and the outcome of both fights especially the Marquez fight wasn’t what fans had come to expect. Trainer Eddie Mustafa Muhammad said that now “Manny sleeps on silk sheets” as a metaphor to Pacquiao’s level of focus .

Timothy Bradley minus punching power has in his arsenal the determination of a hungry fighter – a fighter on a mission, and has overcome in a lot of fights by sheer force of will. The 24/7 docudrama has put Bradley’s focus and determination on full display.

Intangibles: Advantage Bradley

In conclusion, most of the advantages point Manny Pacquiao’s way. But…the turmoil in Pacman’s camp both personally and professionally could end Pacman’s winning ways. Freddie Roach said earlier this week “If Manny looks bad, I’m going to ask him to retire”. Does Freddie know something we don’t? Absolutely! As far as HBO’s 24/7 series Bradley looks like he’s coming to win unlike a few of Manny’s previous opponents who just came for a paycheck. According to Bradley on that series ‘Winning is his mantra’, and he’s said it over and over, questioning whether Pacquiao has what it takes to beat him. This alone should make for a good, competitive fight, and in the end I see Bradley getting a 12 round unanimous decision over Manny Pacquiao.

Article posted on 08.06.2012

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