Controversy raged after their first fight as Timothy Bradley was awarded a split decision victory over Filipino star Manny Pacquiao. Now the rematch is ready to take place this weekend to settle the score once and for all, but don’t bet on this one going off without controversy too.
Bradley, by his very style, has been unappreciated for years. Only now are some fans beginning to see just how good he actually is. He’s an intelligent boxer who, because he lacks power, has to go to the scorecards more often than not. He’s versatile and can adapt his game-plan depending on the opponent and their strengths. No matter the how many positives there are, sometimes without that eye-catching power you take a while to transcend to all of the people watching. That is exactly what happened to Bradley.
After the first fight against Pacquiao, although Pacquiao looked to have deserved the points win, the backlash that Bradley received was totally unfair. He didn’t score the fight; he just fought it. The under-appreciation for Bradley also meant that some fans had Pacquiao winning every round, or close to it, which seemed inaccurate and only intensified the backlash. Now, though, is the chance Bradley has been waiting for — a chance to get a deserved victory over Pacquiao. Whether he can do it or not is another matter, but it’s the opportunity that he has waited for.
But with Bradley’s style against Pacquiao and his high output and high energy style, this fight is always going to be close. This is where the problem comes in. Bradley can do well in a round, and Pacquiao can take it away with a blizzard of activity over 30 seconds or so. Some people go for accuracy and some people go for activity. It’s the speed and high output against the cerebral and methodical boxer — it dovetails well, almost too well.
This fight is destined to be close, and it’s destined for controversy again. If that is the case, then a clear victory, as both fighters have said they are looking for, will not be achieved. Maybe there will be a need for a third fight? It’s certainly possible because with Pacquiao and Bradley, it’s always going to be close. And that means probably, again, there’s going to be controversy.