December 5, 2021 | 9:35 am
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Pacquiao vs. Bradley things to watch for

Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley will meet for the second time and hope to settle once and for all who’s the better man.

Both fighters have much to prove to themselves and to the millions of fans that will be deploying a watchful eye on this mega pay-per-view matchup.

For Pacquaio he can win in a variety of ways: Pacquiao-Bradley1

  • His aggressive forward moving style should be effective once again. Many think he won the last fight simply by doing what he normally does so this is a strategy that could be implored again.
  • The straight left hand is a weapon but he should anticipate that Bradley will be ready for it this time around. Use it but faint and confuse Bradley with hooks to the body.
  • Combination punching is a staple of Pacquiao’s style when he’s on his game. Doubling and tripling up with the right jab early on can set Bradley up for the left hand down the middle.
  • Pacman is quirky in the ring and moves in an oddly beautiful fashion. If his feet are still quick he can make Bradley miss and counter.
  • If Pacquiao wins rounds early he may be able to bait Bradley into being more aggressive than he should be. Nobody thinks Bradley is winning a decision again. So if Pacquiao gets out to a clear hot start Bradley may need to press which will make him susceptible to a big shot from Pacquiao.

bradley tags pacFor Bradley to win things are a bit more complicated:

  • Bradley can win a decision only if he gets a knockdown or two at some point during the fight, otherwise if it goes to the cards he is toast. He and his corner both know that.
  • He lacks the pop to scare Pacquiao but the upper cut to both the head and body should be an option for Bradley. In their last fight there were skirmishes where Pacquiao leaned in almost begging to be tapped from underneath.
  • As for any fight, Bradley should commit to the body to try to slow down the nimble Pacquiao for the later rounds. He should try to land a counter hook to the body when avoiding Pacquiao’s lead left.
  • Speaking of those skirmishes, he’d be wise to avoid too many of them. Bradley’s chin is granite but he has been known to wobble (and I am not talking about the dance). Without the requisite thunder to actually KO Pacman, he needs to “catch” Pacquiao with something he doesn’t see coming.
  • Head movement, head movement and head movement. Bradley likes to duck or lean back as his primary defense, but doesn’t do a good enough job turning his head away from punches. Hopefully that is something his camp has worked on.

It’s really a shame that fans have not embraced Bradley despite his undefeated record. Bradley is not a favorite son so to speak like Pacquiao. who owns the crowd’s respect an adoration, even with questions about his desire swirling. It’s really a remarkable thing. 

I am one of the few people who feel Bradley won their first fight and definitely think it was at least closer than those who think Pacquiao obliterated Bradley realize. With politics certain to be involved (especially with Pacquiao’s ability to bring in bigger money fights down the line) and Pacman’s superior power, I don’t see how Bradley wins without benefit of scoring a knockdown or knockout. And he doesn’t have the punch to do that.

Prediction: Manny Pacquiao in an entertaining 12 round decision.

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