If Pacquiao does not get the fight he wants with Floyd Mayweather Jr., he should avenge his lost against Timothy Bradley
After he put on a masterful performance against Brandon Rios last fall, Manny Pacquiao has to decide what is next in his 2014 calendar. What we know so far is that after suffering two losses against Timothy Bradley and Juan Manual Marquez respectively he bounced back as a true champion and beat Rios decisively. I should note that the only reason Rios did not get knock out is because he has a chin of titanium. The punches Rios took, I should say the beating he took, especially the clean straight let hands should have forced Rios to take an unexpected nap just like Manny Pacquiao did at the end of the sixth round against Juan Manual Marquez.
Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao seemed to be his old self again, attacking from unknown angles, firing multiple punches combination some of which were too fast to see. And most importantly, Pacquiao appeared to have had the meanest intentions. He was ready to follow through with punches. He was ready to trade and load his power punches. He was willing to take risk to hurt his opponent. In short, on that night and at 35 Manny Pacquiao was back.
Two elements remain a mystery. First, in an era where top level fighters such as Floyd Mayweather Jr., Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto and Canelo Alvarez, to name a few broke out of the balance of power dominated by the promoters to become their own promoters, why did Manny Pacquiao not do the same? This question is even relevant for Floyd Mayweather Jr. has declared solemnly that he would never do business with Bob Arum who happens to be Pacquiao’s promoter. One could envisage that had Pacquiao be his own boss, perhaps he could have dealt with Mayweather make the fight everyone wants to see. Unfortunately, Manny Pacquiao is still fighting under Bob Arum Top Rank, and to make matters worse he allegedly is said to be facing some financial difficulties which de facto eliminates entirely the prospect of having him fighting with Floyd Mayweather Jr. unless he switches to Golden Boy promotions or even to Mayweather promotions.
The second mystery, in that context, is who should be Pacquiao next opponent? There are a few obvious top level fights, and a few remotely interesting and potentially dynamical fights less thought about which should be examined. In the absence of a fight with Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao has to avenge his official loss to Timothy Bradley. The boxing world is almost unanimous on the outcome of their first match up. They saw it as a one sided Manny Pacquiao victory. I have to note that at the time Pacman was the champion, so even in the event that the judges saw it as a close fight they still would have had to give it to Pacquiao for the challenger has to decisively beat the champion.
This rematch would give us a fight that no one could anticipate for two main reasons among many. First, Manny Pacquiao will not knock Timothy Bradley out. This option is most likely foreclosed. This is not an indictment of Manny Pacquiao’s power which appeared to have never really left him. However, it is a realistic appreciation for Timothy Bradley chin and will to win. Timothy Bradley faced Ruslan Provodnikov in what should have been the 2013 fight of the year. Ruslan Provodnikov threw nuclear bombs at Bradley and hurt Bradley countless times in their 12 round affair, yet Bradley found a way to box his way out and ultimately claim the victory. I weight my words carefully when assert that he took numerous nuclear powered power punches that hurt him severely. In fact, Bradley admitted that could not speak correctly for a few months after the fight because he took too many clean power punches to the head. This tells that his immense will and determination to win will make him survive situations where most fighters would be knocked out.
The second reason why this match up would be interesting is that since their last encounter they both changed. Bradley has gained or should have gained the respect of most boxing fans and observers after his war with Ruslan Provodnikov. To follow that epic performance he went on and defeated Juan Manual Marquez the only man alive to have outboxed and knocked out Manny Pacquiao in his prime. Still undefeated, 31-0, Bradley’s confidence in his team, in his coach, in his ways, and in himself has grown exponentially since their last fought.
Manny on the other hand, had a more dramatic career continuation. He got knocked out cold by his nemesis Juan Manual Marquez in their forth encounter after dropped Marquez in the early rounds. Following that devastating loss and his ever increasingly busy career as a congressman and music star, Pacman went back to the gym, put his soul and mind into boxing once again, won a decisively victory in a dominating fashion against Brandon Rios.
Pacquiao number one priority if he does not fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. should be to set the record straight with Timothy Bradley by fighting him again.