It’s more or less accepted by boxing fans that Manny Pacquiao will find a way to beat Timothy Bradley when the pair squares off on June 9.
The question on everyone's mind is: how will he beat him?
Although Bradley is athletic and arguably the most fierce opponent that Pacquiao has faced in years, his lack of power ensures that the bout will go as long as Pacquiao lets it go.
The Filipino champ, if he is able to knockout (KO) Bradley, would earn his first KO since his 2009 when he handed Miguel Cotto a memorable beating. But even if he weren’t able to record a KO and this fight goes the distance – longer fights tend to benefit the better fighter (all conditioning being equal). Advantage: Manny.
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Here is how Ladbrokes forecasts this fight going:
Manny Pacquiao Winning in Round 1: 33/1
Manny Pacquiao Winning in Round 2: 28/1
Manny Pacquiao Winning in Round 3: 25/1
Manny Pacquiao Winning in Round 4: 22/1
Manny Pacquiao Winning in Round 5: 20/1
Manny Pacquiao Winning in Round 6: 18/1
Manny Pacquiao Winning in Round 7: 16/1
Manny Pacquiao Winning in Round 8: 16/1
Manny Pacquiao Winning in Round 9: 16/1
Manny Pacquiao Winning in Round 10: 16/1
Manny Pacquiao Winning in Round 11: 18/11
Manny Pacquiao Winning in Round 12: 20/1
Recently Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, addressed precisely how he envisioned his guy winning this match (via Phil Star):
“The fans want to see a knockout. I want to see a knockout,” Roach said.
“Bradley is aggressive. He comes to fight and will be fighting until the end but I think Manny will catch him coming in, and knock him out in the later rounds,” he explained.
It’s worth noting that Pacquiao was a heavy favorite to take Juan Manuel Marquez down right around the sixth round when the pair met last year. We all remember how that turned out. Expecting a KO and getting a KO are two very different things.
However, to be fair, it's also important to point out that Bradley’s style isn’t as perfect an antithesis to Pacquiao’s way of fighting as Marquez's was (and still is). If Bradley had any legitimate KO power going into this fight, that coupled with his athleticism could give Pacquiao serious problems. Unfortunately, him not being a threat to earn the KO at any point essentially gives the Filipino champ freedom to be patient, pick his moments and then capitalize on an opening that Bradley will inevitably give him at some point.
And worst case scenario, should Bradley not give Pacquiao an opening (he will), the champ is a more skilled fighter anyway – so if this goes to the judges he has the advantage in that regard as well.