The much anticipated Manny Pacquiao vs Timothy Bradley rematch gave fans their monies worth, but it left us with as many questions as it did answers.
The beginning of the fight saw Timothy Bradley fighting like a champion, confident and aggressive. That quickly faded as Manny Pacquiao was able to withstand the heavy punches until Bradley slowed. Bradley abandoned a game plan that was successful for him during the first fight between these two and successful for the first 4 rounds of this fight. There was definitely something different about Bradley after round 4 and it gifted this fight to the veteran Manny Pacquiao.
After the fight Bradley said, “No excuses but I suffered a leg injury.”
Whether bradley actually hurt his leg or not is something only him and his corner knows, but he surely looked for the huge KO from round 5 and on. The dancing, smooth, boxer was gone and in his place was the wild-swinging brawler that Bradley had become. As soon as the fight went in that direction it was Pacquiao’s to win.
Pacquiao landed a few combinations in each of the last 6 rounds which proved to be enough to take those rounds from Bradley. Though the punches in those combinations landed cleanly he wasn’t able to hurt or even stun Bradley. The Manny of 4 years ago would’ve sensed a slowed opponent and went for the finish. That Manny would’ve had enough power to at least knock down his opponent, but that wasn’t the case tonight.
Surely ‘Team Pacquiao’ will celebrate the title victory but they must be weary of what it actually means longterm. Is it enough for Manny to simply skate by with decisions for the next few years of his life? Is that a fighter that can carry the Top Rank banner? Ultimately is that a fighter that garners a Mayweather fight?
Manny did enough to win the gold tonight but he didn’t do enough to answer any of those questions tonight and sadly Top Rank may not have a fighter that’ll force those questions to be answered anytime soon.