One of the best fighters in the world takes on an undefeated boxer in the highly anticipated tilt on June 9.
Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley will face off on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The two will fight for the right to win the WBO Welterweight title.
Terms for the fight were agreed upon in February when Miguel Cotto was chosen to take on Floyd Mayweather on May 5. Bradley decided to move up from the Light Welterweight class to challenge Pacquiao.
Bradley (28-0) is looking to stay unbeaten. He last fought Joel Casamayor in Nov. 2011, as he retained his Light Welterweight title with an eighth round TKO.
Pacquiao (54-3-2) is also stepping inside the ring for the first time in 2012. His last fight was against Juan Manuel Marquez, in which he retained his Welterweight title by a majority decision.
The challenger is a heavy underdog, but shouldn't be overlooked. Bradley is undefeated for a reason. He's young, in the prime of his career and facing a fighter in Pacquiao who struggled in his last fight.
Pac-Man defeated Marquez by a majority decision, but some felt he was unjustly given the victory.
Pacquiao has admitted to possibly not taking Marquez as seriously as he should have.
It just happened, I think we underestimated Marquez, but we trained hard for that fight. The training was still the same. We trained hard for that fight. We underestimated Marquez, he said.
Pacquiao added, I've been fighting at 150, 147 and then this guy [who is] 140-pounds, 135, is moving up. I've been fighting with bigger guys and then I fight a guy who is the same size, so I kind of underestimated [him].
Boxing promoter Bob Arum thinks the fight will be a lot closer than the oddsmakers realize.
It's an even fight, said Arum. If Manny performs the same way that he did in the Marquez fight, Bradley will beat him.
It's not only Pacquiao's fight against Marquez that has some people predicting an upset, but also distractions outside of the ring. He was reportedly distracted in November because of problems with his wife. Now, some fear that his role as a preacher and a politician in the Philippines has forced him to focus less on boxing.
Will Bradley be able to take advantage of his opportunity and defeat Pacquiao?
Betting Odds: Manny Pacquiao -450, Timothy Bradley +325
Prediction: Expect Bradley to give Pacquiao a good fight. He's never lost, and should be able to last 12 rounds with Pac-Man. Pacquiao showed signs that he might be slipping in his last fight, and Bradley might be able to use his energy to take advantage of that, unlike the older Marquez.
Pacquiao will give Bradley trouble with his quickness, though. He's shown an ability to rebound, even after a slow start. Bradley has a longer reach than his opponent, but Pacquiao's agility and savvy should combat any slight physical limitations.
It will be a good fight that goes the distance, but Pacquiao should come out on top.
Pacquiao OVER Bradley, by a majority decision