At 33, Pacquiao is already vulnerable and based on his four previous fights he could hardly penetrate his opponents’ weak spots for a KO win thus his career stoppage percentage has ebbed with decision wins over Joshua Clottey, Antonio Margarito, Shane Mosely, and Juan Manuel Marquez. Against the slick-punching Bradley, who holds an amazing amateur background, Pacquiao needs to fight double in his effort against Marquez whom he managed to beat only on a controversial majority decision.
Between Marquez and Bradley, the black fighter and reigning WBO junior welterweight king is more to be feared. In his last fight, Bradley showed his mastery of the sweet science when we weaved and bobbed en route to frustrating former Olympic gold medalist and Cuban sensation Joel Casa- mayor for an 8th round TKO victory underneath the Pacquiao-Marquez III duel on Nov. 12, 2011 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Bradley goes to war with a full tank gas. He can engage Pacquiao in a street brawl for 15 rounds. And since he has not been defeated yet, Bradley can avoid Pacquiao’s deadly assaults by using his footwork if he thinks the Filipino superstar is too sleeper and cocky during their collision.
Known also for his excellent stamina, Pacquiao knows that going the full route against Bradley won’t be a walk in the park. He badly needs a knockout victory to propel his sagging career what with his mega showdown versus Floyd Mayweather Jr. in danger of being scrapped for good.
Pacquiao knows that criticism will badger him in the event he will be declared once again winner on a disputed decision. His impatient fans have been hankering for a knockout win and they want it soon. He will be more in trouble and will be ribbed with taunts if Bradley will upset him. Already some pundits have sensed a danger lurking ahead what with a plethora of negative events and stories flooding the boxing websites several weeks before the June 9 joust at the MGM Grand.
The reported conflict between his conditioning coach Alex Ariza and famed trainer Freddie Roach is also an albatross in Pacquiao’s neck. If he will go to war against Bradely with a divided house, the team will crumble like a deck of cards even before Pacquiao has thrown the first punch.
You cannot march in the battlefield alongside two feuding lieutenants with loaded guns. The war can only be won if the team is united and organized. The ridicule and severe dressing down Pacquiao got from holier-than-thou characters and institutions for his anti-gay statements is still fresh in his mind and it happened just as he was starting to put panache in his training program at the Wild Card gym in Hollywood.
There were also reports released in the middle of his training that Jinky had given him divorce papers prior to his third and final fisticuffs with Marquez last year.
All these distractions are considered as portent of things to come once Pacquiao goes up the ring against hungry lion who is not afraid to slug toe to toe with the most feared brown pugilist in the world today from Saranggani Province in Mindanao, Philippines.
By Rey Fortaleza