Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley didn’t look especially great in their 2012 showdown. The latter fighter ultimately picked up a very controversial and totally undeserved decision win, but it was a victory in the loosest sense of the word.
While Bradley is always the one who has caught flak for last year’s bout, it is worth noting that Pacquiao didn’t look all that good either. He was lethargic towards the second half, he coasted right up until the last minute or so of most of the rounds, and he was incapable of putting a beaten, hobbled Bradley away via knockout. He clearly won the fight, but it wasn’t in impressive fashion at all.
Last Saturday, Bradley and Ruslan Provodnikov fought in what will likely be regarded as one of the best matches of 2013. What made the fight so special was Bradley being willing to mix it up – something he hadn’t been particularly inclined to do in other fights. And with him suddenly being so entertaining, some began to question if maybe it was time for him to fight his Filipino rival again. Perhaps this version of the 29-year-old could legitimately beat Pacquiao, sans botched judging.
Unfortunately, Bradley has no plans to fight that way anymore. While speaking to ESPN this week, Joel Diaz said that his guy, should he fight Provodnikov, would employ a smarter strategy. Presumably the same would go for a bout against Pacquiao.
“We'll be smarter and box more like what you saw in the middle rounds,” Joel Diaz said Wednesday in a chat on ESPN.com.
That’s too bad. Seeing Bradley and Pacquiao cautiously circle one another isn’t something fans are going to shell out big bucks for. And that’s just one of many reasons why a rematch isn’t going to happen.