On June 9, 2012, Pacquiao suffered the most surprising loss of his career, falling to Timothy Bradley in a split decision. The result was controversial, to say the least, and now Pacquiao is looking for redemption.
Once again, Pacquiao is favored over Bradley. However, his odds aren’t nearly what they were when he faced Bradley the first time. Bradley has since beaten quality opponents, including Juan Manuel Marquez, who knocked out PacMan in their December 2012 fight.
Pacquiao is looking to prove that he is at the top of the sport. He had a convincing victory over Brandon Rios in November, but Bradley will be a much tougher test. In the days leading up to the fight, Bradley has questioned Pacquiao’s killer instinct. Will he prove the WBO welterweight title holder wrong on Saturday?
Below are three ways Pacquiao can defeat Bradley.
Be aggressive early
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If Pacquiao is able to have success early, Bradley could be in a lot of trouble. Winning the early rounds will force Bradley to take more chances, which isn’t likely to work out in the champ’s favor. Pacquiao has stated that he plans to throw more punches and be aggressive. When he lost to Bradley nearly two years ago, Pac-Man threw 88 fewer punches. Correcting that on Saturday should help him avoid another upset.
Jab, Jab, Jab
Utilizing his jab will be crucial to Pacquiao’s success. It may be the best part of Pacquiao’s skill set, though he’s been reluctant to use it against Bradley. Leading up to the fight, however, PacMan has said he’ll heed trainer Freddie Roach’s advice, and focus on using his jab on Saturday. Bradley has a strong chin, and Pacquiao will need to use his jab, in order to set up power punches.
As Pacquiao starts the fight aggressively and utilizes his jab, he could turn the fight into a brawl. If the less-experienced Bradley isn’t patient, Pacquiao will have his opponent right where he wants him. Against Ruslan Provodnikov, Bradley tried to go punch-for-punch with his opponent, and almost lost the title, as a result. Pacquiao hits harder than Provodnikov, and could make Bradley pay with a knockout.