In just under a month, one of the most widely criticized boxing decisions in recent history is set to (hopefully) come to some resolution. Manny Pacquiao plans to avenge his split decision loss to Timothy Bradley from two summers ago, while Bradley hopes to maintain his undefeated record in his climb towards the top of boxing & a potential but unlikely match up with Floyd Mayweather Junior. The two are set to face off at the MGM Grand on April 12th, in what is one of the most anticipated rematches in recent memory. The loss against Bradley back in 2013 signified a period for Pacquiao that has been anything but memorable.
Following the decision against Bradley, Pacquaio was knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez in their 4th match up. With the knock out came the criticism that Manny was on the downhill slide of his career, even though nearly every boxing analyst and critic agreed that he actually won against Bradley. While a match up against Floyd Mayweather has been mentioned again after Pacquiao’s victory of Brandon Rios back in November, it still seems far fetched. A win over Bradley could help, but as long as Pacquiao fights with Top Rank & Mayweather stubbornly refuses the biggest pay day of his career, the fight stands pat.
Bradley has had continued success since the fight against Pacquiao. After brawling out a win over Ruslan Provodnikov, a fight that was awarded the 2013 Fight of The Year by ESPN.com, Bradley went on to also defeat Juan Manuel Marquez in a 12 round decision. Aside from the first bout with Pacquiao, Bradley considered this to be the biggest victory of his career. It likely did more for him considering the way he won the first fight with Pacquiao. Nevertheless, the two are set to face off again.
What can we expect from this fight? Can we expect the unexpected again? Not likely. Bradley is a much improved fighter, but Pacquiao has more incentive to win decisively in this fight. While we know that Pacquiao has knockout power, we also know Bradley has a strong chin. One thing is for sure: In a few short weeks, we will know who truly is the better man in the ring & a victory will decidedly put the winner in a great position.
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