The sequel to the much debated and controversial fight, between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley back in June of 2012, comes to the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV this Saturday, April 12th, as the WBO Welterweight Champion Timothy Bradley defends his belt against the Filipino star.
This is one of the most anticipated rematches in recent history, with both fighters out to prove they belong among the best pound for pound fighters in the world.
This bout is one of redemption for Pacquiao, who was knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012, but did rebound for a one-sided decision victory over Brandon Rios in November. Redemption, because in the first fight with Bradley, Pacquiao knows he was a victim of poor judging. As many did, I believe he easily won seven or eight rounds of that bout.
For Bradley, Saturday Night is a chance to prove he was the deserving victor. After his fight with Pacquaio, Bradley turned in two impressive wins over Ruslan Provodnikov and Marquez respectively. And, looks fit and poised to put in a similar outing against his opponent this weekend.
The story line certainly sets the stage for an exciting night, one filled with drama and anticipation. Both fighters with an enormous amount of motivation. For the winner, it could mean huge future pay days, and a chance to climb the pound for pound ladder, for the loser an uncertain future.
The keys to victory for each fighter haven't changed much since their first bout. For Pacquiao, the use of his incredible movement, hand speed, and power will be essential elements to his success. While Bradley will need to come forward, force Pacquiao into close exchanges, keeping away and inside of Pacquiao's range. What has changed is their experiences within the ring since their last fight. Bradley was in the fight of the year with Provodnikov, even though he won that fight, he took a good bit of punishment. Pacquiao's loss to Marquez came by way of knockout, and not just the "I'm feeling loopy" variety, Manny was out cold. I'm not certain who sustained more damage, Timothy in a victory or Manny is a loss, but I thought it was worth noting both have been in battles since they last met.
In the end, I'm on the fence with my prediction, but I do think Pacquiao earns a victory this weekend. It likely will come as a result of out boxing Bradley, rather than out power punching him. These questions still loom for me, has Manny lost a step, his timing, and his power? This fight should answer many of those one way or the other. Expect a back and forth action fight, one which could earn fight of the year
.Prediction: Manny Pacquiao via Decision (could be split)
Manny Pacquaio v Timothy Bradley 2: Fight Prediction
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