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List of Articles by Socrates Celestial



Desert Storm heading for Pacman

By Socrates Celestial
PhilBoxing.com
03 Apr 2012



On June 9th, 2012, Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38KO) from General Santos, Philippines will be defending his title facing the undefeated Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley (28-0, 12 KO) from Palm Springs, California. The match will be for the WBO Welterweight title at a limit of 147 pounds. Both fighters sit on ‘The Ring Magazine’s pound-for –pound best fighters list, with Pacquiao at number one for the last 433 weeks and Bradley sitting at eighth for 77 weeks. Having a match with two pound-for-pound fighters is almost a guarantee of a dynamic show.

At first glance many fans lack enthusiasm with the latest match up, mainly because the never-ending dream match between Pacquiao and Mayweather still has not come to fruition. As time passes and Pacquiao speaks on retirement, the possibilities become more of a fantasy fight than a reality.

Enter Bradley, a young, strong and flawless winner that has faced top opposition. To name a few , with their records going into the match against Bradley, would be the likes of Kendall Holt (25-2), Nate Campbell (33-5-1), Lamont Peterson (27-0), Devon Alexander (21-0) and Joel Casamayor (38-5-1).

What are Bradley’s strengths going into this match up? He uses a square stance that enables power in both hands, an aggressive style that moves forward with a solid jaw behind his feet, looping strong punches, a powerful right hand (which spells trouble for even the best southpaw’s), success over other top level south paws such as Peterson, Alexander and Casamayor and a fearless style that stalks down the opponent even after he’s been knocked down. His main asset would be his youth. He will come out faster and more eager and will recuperate at a faster rate. At least he should.

Pacquiao will however use his accelerated foot speed to open up his array of angles on Bradley’s inconsistent form, from a square stance to a long narrow stance, both that enhance power but limit mobility and foot quickness. Pacman’s endless variety of peppery combinations will outmatch Bradley’s short power medleys. Power is close, but Pacquiao takes the mark earning more knockouts and knockdowns in his career. The Filipino’s countering skills will be perfect against any opponent’s style that lunges forward like a bull. The half-inch height advantage for the Filipino will account for more since most of Pacman’s opponents are typically taller than him. The main variable for Pacquiao is his ring experience. Not only in the pugilistic level of his opponents, but the number of fighters Pacman has knocked out exceeds the total number of professional matches Bradley has ever faced. Pacquiao’s resume has almost double the amount of fights Bradley has ever faced.

The biggest flaw in this fight is the notorious headbutt’s that Bradley seemingly has never been penalized for, but has always been a problem in facing the feisty American. In fact, the match between Bradley and Campbell was stopped when Campbell was cut open with a quick headbutt and refused to continue after completing the third round. At first it was ruled that Bradley won, but with review the referee did count the cut resulted from a headbutt and not from a gloved hit. The ultimate decision resulted in a No-Contest. Throughout his career, Bradley has had head clashes with many of his opponents. Some believe they are intentional and some do not. In any event, it would be a great misfortune to see the match end this way.

As for the prediction for the fight, provided that this does not end in a no-contest due to head butts, Pacquiao should be able to beat Bradley on the score cards and even earn a knockdown or three. Bradley has never been stopped by a knockdown so the most likely outcome will be a Unanimous decision in favor for Manny Pacquiao at the end of all twelve scheduled rounds.


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