Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley: Delusions of Grandeur

| by Alex Groberman

The one thing that Timothy Bradley had going for him in the aftermath of his undeserved victory over Manny Pacquiao was that people still liked him. Everyone knew that he didn’t earn the win that was handed to him by a couple of inept, incompetent judges – but it was still widely agreed upon that he wasn’t to blame.

Fighters fight and judges judge, so faulting Bradley for shoddy scorekeeping never made much sense.

Over the past few months, a lot of people (read: we) have trashed the prospect of Pacquiao-Bradley II because they (read: we) knew that it would be just as uninteresting as the pair's original bout.

Pacquiao is a superior boxer – plain and simple. By any and every statistical measurement, he dominated Bradley on June 9. He landed more total punches, he landed more power punches, he was consistently more aggressive, and he did all his damage with a better accuracy percentage than his counterpart. This is not opinion, it is CompuBox-verifiable fact.

And yet, despite all of the pushback that there has been against a sequel to Pacquiao-Bradley, the one thing that everyone consistently made it a point to mention was that Bradley was a good guy. That he shouldn’t be blamed for what transpired. That, even though he clearly wasn’t and isn’t on Pacquiao’s level, he deserves respect just by virtue of seemingly being one of the sport's classier personalities.

That all changed on Wednesday afternoon when Bradley said this to Leighton Ginn of The Desert Sun:

“To be honest with you, I think a lot of people on that side are scared,” Bradley said. “He couldn’t knock me out with two peg legs. Me healthy, I’m going to beat him worse.

“If Manny wants to do it, let’s do it. It’s been a circus around here. I’ve been sitting around here waiting. I want the fight but he hasn’t decided yet.”

Shots fired.

While it is admittedly troubling that Pacquiao couldn’t knock Bradley out given how thoroughly he dominated him throughout the match, that doesn’t actually take away from the domination. Saying that someone should have won in more impressive fashion isn’t exactly an insult – rather, it speaks to the sort of regard that folks have for that particular somebody.

Bradley is better than this. He doesn’t need to resort to low-level, attention-seeking behavior in what is basically just a futile attempt to secure a rematch.

The fact of the matter is, Pacquiao wants Floyd Mayweather Jr. next. If he gets him, then this bout won’t happen. If he doesn’t, then it probably will. But, either way, this isn’t the road that a guy of Bradley’s stature wants to go down.

Prior to this, Bradley seemed like someone who understood that he won via a fluke decision, even if he couldn’t come out and admit it. With these latest comments, though, he just sounds straight up delusional.

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