Manny Pacquiao, 54-3-2, 38 KO’s, is going into his June 9th PPV showdown with the ambitious challenger, Timothy Bradley, 28-0, 12 KO’s. There is some concern from the die hard Pacquiao fans that there may be too much going on around him at this point, leaving room for Bradley to come in and pull off the major upset and tip boxing upside down.
The most covered topic was the “death to homosexuals” comments by the “PacMan,” noting his disgust at gay marriage. The public, gay and straight, came forward against these terrible comments, and brought many to scrutinize the champ. Rumors of infidelity, gambling, and more surfaced. Pacquiao’s “do as I say, not as I do,” approach didn’t make too many people happy and neither did his apology that seemed rather insincere. Manny is guarding a potential fortune in revenue from endorsements. If he’s a homophobe, those endorsements will go bye-bye.
Infighting in the Pacquiao camp has been made public as Freddie Roach, the trainer, and Alex Ariza have begun bumping heads. Roach has called Ariza unprofessional and stated that he is basically in this only for the money. Ariza came under fire when he left the camp and went to work with Julie Cesar Chavez, JR. Even though Pacquiao allowed it, it rubbed Roach the wrong way.
When Pacquiao faced off with Juan Manuel Marquez, and should have lost a decision, the poor performance was blamed on problems outside of the ring. If this is true, then there may be hope for Timothy Bradley to pull the upset.
Pacquiao is also facing off against father time. He is only 33 years old, but he has been through so many wars and has many miles on his body. If you examine his recent fights and compare them to fights even five years ago, you see a huge difference in his legs and speed. Granted, he moved up in weight, but the reflexes don’t seem to be there as much and if Bradley can survive the incoming punches, he may be able to get on the inside and get some things done.
Timothy Bradley is a good fighter with a huge heart. What he lacks in power, he makes up for in spirit. He wants to win this fight very badly and they will have to carry him out of the ring…which will probably happen. Pacquiao, even unfocused, still has the punch and timing and the smaller Bradley may get some things done, but I’m rather certain that when the straight left or right hook lands, we will see a knockdown. Pacquiao is not a big puncher at welterweight but he’s not fighting a welterweight. He’s fighting a smaller guy…a smaller guy that doesn’t have the power to concern him. It will be a gnat running into a tank and it’s hard to imagine Bradley overcoming the beast he has in front of him.
In a couple of weeks, we will see the fight and if Pacquiao wins by impressive knockout, then talk of a Floyd Mayweather, JR., match will start again. A smaller aggressive guy without much of a punch going after Manny is a recipe for a spectacular KO for the Filipino and that is why this match is taking place. The odds are that people will begin talking about how Manny would destroy Floyd and that match will start materializing again…and falling apart again.
Win or lose, Manny has lost a lot of public appeal. His anti-homosexual rants, infidelity rumors, and even steroid rumors have hurt the once squeaky clean fighter. It will be interesting to see how he’s viewed if the Floyd public war starts again.