GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/03 June) — As much as Bob Arum of Top Rank would like us to believe, Timothy Bradley really does not have what it takes to hand Manny Pacquiao his fourth loss.
He may be quick but not enough to duck and get away from Manny’s even quicker punches. While Bradley is well chiseled and looks more intimidating than he is, he will be facing a Hall of Famer who does not know what fear is.
The American, undefeated so far in 29 fights, has not fought a boxer remotely near Pacquiao’s class. He may be the only boxer to stop Cuban defector Joel Casamayor but the latter, at 40 years old, was then already way past his prime.
In Pacquiao, Bradley will not only have a prime pound for pound king to worry about. He will need more than a miracle to accomplish the improbable. Bradley has never faced an opponent who hits as hard as Pacquiao.
One probing Pacquiao punch will suck away Bradley’s patented aggressiveness. It will take away the fight and the fighter in him. Once he recluses into a defensive fighter, it will not take long before the lights are out for him.
Looking at videos of his fights, headbutts and all, Bradley is tailor made for right hooks and uppercuts from Pacquiao. Of course he will have to worry even more over Pacquiao’s patented left haymakers.
The only way Bradley can escape this fight without losing is to do an Agapito Sanchez redux. In case many forget, the late Sanchez threw about everything but legal punches, headbutting his way in, punching in the thighs and groin until Pacquiao lay prone on the canvas from the foulest of tactics. The fight ended in a draw, by the way.
Pacquiao however has since come a long way from that. He now knows how to handle every type of fighter. He fought the hardest punchers in his divisions. He fought taller fighters. He fought the raging bull in Ricky Hatton, the slick but cowardly Joshua Clottey. Miguel Cotto. Antonio Margarito. He also has his own aging opponent in Oscar de la Hoya but the latter is no Casamayor. In his younger days, Pacquiao fought the best in his division. Marco Antonio Barrera. Juan Manuel Marquez. Erik Morales.
Name it, Pacquiao has fought them all.
Bradley will not be the type of boxer who will intimidate the eight-division world champion. On the contrary, Bradley is the kind of fighter that brings the best in Pacquiao.
When was the last time Pacquiao stopped his opponent? That was in November 2009 when he forced the referee to step in the 12th round in to prevent further injuries to Cotto. For avid followers of the fighting Filipino congressman, that was eons ago.
Next Sunday (June 10 in the Philippines). Pacquiao will entertain his fans with another spectacular knockout victory. You can count on that. Even bet your month’s pay. (MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. Edwin G. Espejo writes for the asiancorrespondent.com)