Not very many mainstream sports fans have ever heard of Tim Bradley, but this guy is the most dangerous, and hungry fighter that Manny can fight outside of Juan Manuel Marquez, and Floyd Mayweather Jr. Many boxing experts give Bradley a great chance to pull off the massive upset.
Still, I think Bradley's head first come forward style is taylor made for Manny, and if he can effectively box from mid range and avoid Bradley's famous headbutts, then I see a Pacquiao victory via late stoppage.
Overview Manny Pacquiao (left) and Timothy Bradley are fighting for the welterweight title on Saturday night. (AP)
Manny Pacquiao, boxing's biggest international superstar, is defending his WBO welterweight championship against Timothy Bradley on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas (9 p.m. ET, HBO PPV, $54.95).
Bradley, the WBO junior welterweight champion from Palm Springs, Calif., is moving up to 147 pounds for a chance at one of the sport's biggest fish and a career-high $5 million purse. Pacquiao will earn a guaranteed $26 million, a figure that could increase depending on the pay-per-view sales.
The first fighter to capture world titles in eight different weight classes (from 112 to 154 pounds), Pacquiao ranks No. 2 in SI.com's pound-for-pound ratings. Bradley ranks No. 8.
Pacquiao is a bona fide global phenomenon -- an eight-division world champ who's drawn straight-faced comparisons to Ali, a congressman in the Philippines with a near-messianic desire to end poverty, one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people -- and he's gone more than seven years since losing a fight. But a pair of underwhelming points victories against Shane Mosley and Juan Manuel Marquez have left many observers wondering if he's past his peak.
After escaping with a split decision against 7-to-1 underdog Marquez in November, Pacquiao tried (or didn't try, depending on whom you believe) to come to terms with Floyd Mayweather to make the fight that fans have clamored for since 2008. But after Mayweather signed to fight Miguel Cotto, Bradley soon emerged as the frontrunner in the Pacquiao sweepstakes and signed the contract in February.
Bradley, although widely regarded as one of the 10 best fighters in the world regardless of weight, is virtually anonymous beyond hardcore boxing fans. He's beaten several current or former titleholders, but his highest-profile win to date was an aesthetically displeasing technical-decision victory over Devon Alexader in January 2011 to unify the WBC and WBO 140-pound titles. Afterward, he turned down a 50/50 offer to fight Amir Khan, then sat out for several months while dealing with an ensuing lawsuit with his former promoters. After signing with Top Rank, he beat Joel Casamayor on the Pacquiao-Marquez undercard -- setting the stage for Saturday's golden opportunity.
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Edited by Canuckerbird, 08 June 2012 - 09:35 PM.