By Clive Bernath: It seems that I’m not the only one that believes Tim Bradley can shock the world and defeat Manny Pacquiao when the pair clash for ‘Pacman’s WBO welterweight title at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on June 9. As soon as it was announced that the undefeated Bradley was next up for arguably the world’s No.1 boxer I envisaged a possible upset.
And the more I view the respective boxers recent fights the more I feel team Pacquiao may have made a severe error in judgment in choosing the 28 year-old from Palm Springs as opponent number 59 for Manny.
As I said I’m not the only person that has seen the alarm bells ringing for Pacquiao regarding this match up. Even his promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank is concerned about the jewel in his crown facing Bradley on June 9
Speaking to HBO Arum said: "Bradley is a terrific fighter. "He’s undefeated. He poses a tremendous challenge for Manny Pacquiao. And my problem is: what Pacquiao are we going to see?
"You have to understand, since the last fight in November, he has become a totally different person. He’s super religious. He does bible study every night.
"I get the impression that I’m promoting Rick Santorum [the one-time Republican Presidential candidate], not Manny Pacquiao. But be that as it may, who knows what effect it will have on his ring ability on June 9?"
Maybe Arum and myself have a difference of opinion when it comes to concerns for Pacquiao for this fight but the concerns are there all the same. Whilst Arum worries that Manny has saddled himself with far too many outside interests and may lack focus I just feel that Bradley’s elusive awkward style could pose a lot of problems for the WBO welterweight champion.
‘Pac Man’ will start favorite at the bookies and rightly so but timing is everything in this sport and not just inside the ring. At 28 years-old Bradley is in his prime and with an unbeaten record of 28-0-(12), he knows how to win fights. And the move up to 147lbs I believe will make him a stronger more dangerous foe to compete against. Arum is right to be concerned because if Manny is anything less than fully prepared and focused he could become an ex champ on June 10.
May 15, 2012