Going into the Timothy Bradley, 28-0, 12 KO’s, fight, there are several questions surrounding the current status of boxing star, Manny Pacquiao, 54-3-2, 38 KO’s. The biggest question surrounds the focus of the boxer. In his last fight with Juan Manuel Marquez, he struggled to eke by with a highly disputed majority decision win. Many that watched the fight consider it to be a “gift decision,” and as time passed, the question arose: What does Manny have left?
Pacquiao has been in a lot of wars and has taken a lot of shots. At times, he nearly seems trapped in the sport by those that desperately want to make money off of him. He has mentioned retirement countless times, but as Bob Arum waves the money in front of his face, he jumps and remains in the game. His heart may just not be in it anymore.
Freddie Roach, trainer of Pacquiao, has come forward recently and noted that his fighter was served with divorce papers before the Marquez fight and that was too much to handle mentally. For this Bradley affair, Roach notes that Pacquiao is back with his wife and reading the bible daily. Pacquiao even noted that God spoke to him at one point.
Making right with his invisible friend in the sky and reuniting with his wife have made all the difference, according to Roach, and now Bradley will face a focused and rejuvenated boxer. In all reality, Bradley isn’t the best gauge in the world. He is naturally smaller than Pacquiao, doesn’t possess a big punch, and will run right at him. Pacquiao won’t have to look for him and even a beyond his prime PacMan should be able to find the mark and win by KO.
Bradley is hopeful that the mediocre recent performances are a sign that the Filipino fighter is slipping and that an opportunity will arise to exploit his diminished skills en route to an upset. The order is tall against Bradley, but there are some parallels to the Manny Pacquiao – Oscar De La Hoya fight in 2008. Pacquiao was seen as too small to beat De La Hoya, but father time mixed with a lack of passion for the sport led to an upset win. The smaller guy’s activity proved too much for the Golden Boy. Now, history may repeat itself should Pacquiao be as far gone as some people contend he is.
With Floyd Mayweather, JR., 43-0, 26 KO’s, keeping his undefeated record intact with a hard fought win over Miguel Cotto, the possibility is still there for a Pacquiao showdown. It is up to Timothy Bradley to shake up the sport and pull the upset, if he can. Boxing has been about Mayweather and Pacquiao for so long without the two doing the right thing for boxing and facing off. A change at the top of the sport would help it. It is yet to be seen if Bradley can be that guy. On paper, it’s incredibly unlikely.