Saturday night the boxing world’s eyes will be on Las Vegas as Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao tries to avenge his 2012 loss to Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley. The first fight was marred with controversy as Bradley won a split decision, but most of the analysts and fans agreed that Pacquiao was the real winner. Whether or not the correct decision was made on that night in 2012 it was a decision that Pacquiao had to live with, and now he will get the chance to beat someone he feels he already rightfully defeated.
Manny Pacquiao has long been one of the biggest names in boxing, but over the last few years he has looked unlike his younger self. In the weeks leading up to the fight Bradley has made a point of telling the media that he believes Pacquiao has lost his edge. He may be right, Pacman has failed to knock out an opponent since 2009 and knockouts were something that he used to do with relative ease. In the same year of his loss to Bradley Pacquiao also suffered one of the worst defeats of his career being knocked out cold by Juan Manuel Marquez in the sixth round. Pacman did recover in his last bout and defeated Brandon Rios by unanimous decision. There is no doubt that he will be seeking redemption not just against Bradley but to prove all of the doubters that he has not lost a step or his killer instinct.
Bradley is coming off the second biggest win of his career a split decision win over Juan Manuel Marquez. His biggest win was the decision over Pacquiao, but even Bradley himself knows that he has not gotten his due credit for defeating Pacquiao. Personally for Bradley this fight represents unfinished business, as he wants to prove to the world he did deserve to win the last fight by beating the same man again. It will be no easy task considering he is facing one of the greatest fighters of the last decade, and said fighter has a score to settle with him.
In terms of where the two fighters are in their careers Bradley has the clear advantage at the age of 30 compared to Pacquiao at 35. Bradley also posses the reach advantage at 69 inches to Pacman’s 67, while reach is not always a determining factor in a fight that will be extremely close every advantage counts. Bradley is also going into this fight trying to defend his unblemished record and will be hoping to keep the zero in his loss column intact. On the horizon for Bradley if he can beat Pacquiao again is a possible fight with pound for pound king Floyd Mayweather. There is no guarantee of that happening but if it were to come to fruition it would be undoubtedly Bradley’s biggest payday so that has to at least be in the back of his mind.
The first fight between Pacquiao and Bradley was great and not just because of the controversy surrounding the decision. Boxing fans all over will be hoping that Saturday night brings the same sort of energy and punch for punch fight the two men showed last time around. In this bout all that the fight world can hope for is that the bout is settled completely in the ring and the decision and judges are not the main talking point after the fight, as they were with the last fight.
Commentary By Max Petkevicius