This June 9, 2012, Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley will fight. Both are champions. Manny has 10 years more experience than Tim and more than three times the KOs in the professional record. In addition, Manny has an enviable 8 titles to his credit and is battle tested in the true sense of the phrase. Besides, his WBO welterweight title belt will be on the line. This alone will be a considerable motivator for Manny.
Timothy is a hungry fighter. He has a record of 28(12)-0-0 to Manny's record of 54(38)-3-2. Lately, Tim has been practicing his skills in fighting a southpaw. He crowed recently that "I can deal with any southpaw". He has an advantage in footwork and speed but can Tim match Manny's punching power in the ring? Looking at the previous records, Manny would appear to have the edge in experience.
A closer examination would place the fight as a real squeaker. The last fight Manny had with Juan Manuel Marquez was uncomfortably close. Manny Pacquiao had all he could handle from Marquez , but he escaped still on top with a majority decision: 114-114, 115-113, 116-112. Quite a number of people believe to this day that Marquez beat Pacquiao in their last encounter.
The cards for the last Pacquiao v. Marquez fight were virtually a statistical dead heat. Just a few punches thrown on the ropes or in the corner could have been impossible for a majority of judges to see clearly. Fighting in the corners or off the ropes are every trainer's nightmare because the judges can't see through the fighters to determine how the punches really landed.
Just five years separate the fighters with Manny being older and occasionally contemplating retirement. In addition, Manny's focus is split between his boxing and political career. In the fight game, orchestrating a dual career is a difficult undertaking for a fighter - particularly a world champ. Lastly, Manny does not respond well to head cuts. If Bradley is able to cut Pacquiao with a headbutt or a wild strike , he'll certainly have a better chance based upon Pacquiao's last fight with Marquez.
The current WBO welterweight boxing champion holds a seat in the Philippines Congress representing the province of Sarangani on the island of Mindanao. Manny Pacquiao is the first professional boxer to hold national public office while still active in the ring. So, on all counts he has his hands full to say the least.
Fans should expect an entertaining fight. Manny is expected to remain on top but by a narrow margin with very little slack to spare. He needs to keep up an elite boxer's training regimen with an emphasis on running and sparring fighters in both the lower weight classes, as well as his own. Manny has tremendous punching power with good accuracy.
Timothy is fast and his footwork in the ring is excellent- maybe just as good or better than Manny's. This is not the kind of fight to bet the farm because too many factors can impact the outcome. The upcoming confrontation is literally up for grabs, although Manny's ring experience could be a decisive edge.