Tag Archives: Timothy Bradley

Old Lion Manny Pacquiao vs Young Lion Jessie Vargas

Jessie Vargas is the WBO welterweight champ holding Manny Pacquiao‘s old title he won from Timothy Bradley Jr back in April before retiring. Now Manny wants to reclaim it come Saturday, November 5th @ the Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada.

The collective howls of derision from the antisocial media monkeys who were desperate for Junior Welt champ Terence Crawford to get the call promptly soiled any reasonable public expectations for this fight, but just looking at both the excellent title credentials of Vargas coupled with his natural attributes that include significant height, reach, youth, and presumably strength, this looks like a really good action fight. Manny turns 38 next month with 431 rounds waged professionally and Vargas is in a traditional range of athletic prime at age 27 with 189 professional rounds logged, so this the classic battle of the Old Lion against the Young Lion.

Manny’s PPV numbers for Bradley III were about the same as the Floyd TUE Mayweather PPV against the hapless Andre Berto, in other words the expected blow back of fans against both for their sham “Fight of the Century.” So is the public ready to embrace their former favorite again?

Old Lions vs Young Lions

Old Lions vs Young Lions

Boxing is in a major rebuild thanks to that pathetic grubbing of greed and corruption, so nobody should ever expect big PPV numbers again until some legit new crossover stars are born. The much ballyhooed Sergey Kovalev vs Andre Ward PPV that follows this probably won’t clear more than 300-400K if even that because Kovalev is Russian and Ward a P4P STINKER who has made himself irrelevant these past few years. And speaking of pathetic, Vargas should be undefeated after knocking out Bradley only to have the silly putty ref change his mind AFTER he stepped in to save Bradley. How could such blatant idiocy ever be more convenient than that? Amazingly Vargas seems not to have let it get to him, instead turning around disappointment for a very excellent upswing after that robbery, a vicious KO of the undefeated Sadam Ali that earned him this fight. That said, if Manny gets in a half decent camp, he should handle Vargas in a great fight for fans, but it’s hardly the given win his critics complain about. See the Bradley/Ali KOs for proof. Young Vargas has the lean and hungry look of being reborn with cracking power and confidence.

Crawford has a chance to grow a few more fans, humility, and the understanding he won’t dictate the weights and finances like he attempted. Manny’s still the boss and most obviously as a welt if he wins back the WBO title. I didn’t see the alleged Crawford shutout of Postol, but I did see a very crafty Crawford using his speed and power to get the two knockdowns that insured in an otherwise well contested fight he would get the win. That was some smart boxing from the kid instead of trying to match brute strength against a bigger, stronger guy. Now he needs to better calculate his appeal after drawing 60K PPVs for that fight. At any rate, Manny is still the fastest in the division with power enough and more experience at top levels than any fighter going today. He too seems to be reborn after his shoulder surgery, so if the Vargas fight reestablishes his star power, he won’t go away quietly if he can come back once every year like clockwork. His greedy Uncle Bob is already talking about the Crawford fight next April, way too much return action for what is now a full time Senator.

And speaking of politics with this being a particularly low brow, low blow waged American presidential election year, the Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte is as harshly hard line conservative and vulgar as they come. He slandered US President Obama as the son of a whore and demanded US troops stationed there exit the Philippines post haste. America is not his friend, instead looking to Asia and especially China for economic and military allegiances. The last time Manny got caught up in presidential politics during an election year was 2012 when he was baited by the press into offering his negative views of gay marriage in the liberal state of Nevada. That faux pas cost him one of boxing’s worst decision losses ever against Tim Bradley that reduced his earnings by multimillions of dollars. So here we go again with Manny perfectly framed for an identical political crunching moment in time, literally a deer in the Vegas headlights against a really rough, tough, game Mexican for boxing promotional purposes, but who is as native born and endemically American as breakfast tacos have become.

It’s an embarrassment to have to broach the historic reach of boxing corruption in the land of the free and home of the brave where all are guaranteed Constitutional rights in theory, but not boxing decisions. A few days later the big Presidential election occurs, and a few days after that comes the “hated” Russian destroyer Sergey Kovalev  fighting the last American Olympic Gold Medalist Andre Ward in another title fight in Las Vegas. We will see with these two boxing events just how fair America is for honorable visiting foreign nationals these days.

The Odd Couple

The Odd Couple

An interesting development in this fight is the PPV structure will be in house on Top Rank’s own website where they have broadcast fights in the past. The results of this experiment should be interesting, but one problem I picked up early is that the promotion seemed a little weak, and on their website I saw no place to purchase the PPV stream just 2 weeks away from fight time, but we could purchase tickets to the fight, c’mon now Bob. I had to research to google to a completely different website, http://www.toprank.tv/index.jsp where the fight costs $59.99, and which is backlinked to the main Top Rank website. Why their main site has no forwarding link that I see can only be answered by their website designers, but dumb is still dumb by any other name. When I checked back days before the fight, Hallelujah, the forwarding link is there. Better late than never.

The backdrop of this in house PPV was that HBO had already committed to Kovalev vs Ward the very next week and didn’t have the funds left in their reduced boxing budget to finance this, and also didn’t want to have two PPVs on the same month for business reasons known only to them. Top Rank is desperate to develop alternatives after taking a financial bath on both the Manny/Bradley fight and the Crawford/Postal one as well, but criminy, next time put the freaking livestream link on their main site well in advance with the ticket sales for folks to buy the stream at their convenience…duh!

Of course after doing decuple duty, that’s 10x duty as Senator, husband, father,fighter, movie star, basketball player and coach, singer, lover, and the softest touch for money for the needy, Manny could get proverbially old overnight, but I say let him do it his way. He looked dominant in his last P4P battle against Bradley and has earned his chops at least as hard as any fighter in history and harder than most all. Jessie not only earned his opportunity, but is also the hungriest for it in the welterweight division. That counts for a whole lot more than just picking up a payday like many fighters do in big fights these days.

Here they were out of training 2 months away already looking in shape and fight ready. This is gonna be great, guaranteed.

Timothy Bradley vs Brandon Rios @ Crossroads

Current WBO welter champ Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley, 32-1-1, 12 KO, and former titlist Brandon Rios, 33-2-1, 23 KO, will tee it up Saturday, November 7, at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas in what is being marketed as something of a war.

Desert Storm vs Bam Bam

Desert Storm vs Bam Bam

Unfortunately, this may well turn out to be a track meet by Bradley who continues to suffer from serious blows to his noggin that seem to have diminished his former capacity to fight at the highest level. In his last outing, the light hitting prospect Jessie Vargas had enough in him to knockout Bradley had they been officiated in a fair fight. Unfortunately, California has it’s own pitiful referees to match Vegas, so after a big punch slumped Bradley badly to the ropes with just enough time to finish him off as Vargas flurried furiously in the waning seconds of the fight, referee Pat Russell waived off the fight to stop the punishment, a clear TKO victory for Vargas.

But wait, wait, this is boxing we’re talkin’ about. Boxing reserves the right to reverse any decision in a moments notice regardless of merit with no deference to the existing rules or to the resulting controversy.

The ridiculous Russell seemingly heard ding-dongs chiming in his noggin, claiming to have heard the final bell, which is quite loud and distinctive so as to be heard over the din of sound created by the crowd suddenly lurched to their feet by the impending upset after what had been a sure lopsided decision for Bradley. Russell’s TKO verdict was promptly overruled by, ahem, himself, and, whew, close call that one. The easily bruised, sacrificial lamb in waiting, Bradley, was successfully delivered up somewhat lopsided to this date for yet another banana skin slip’em up.

Sadly, Top Rank has been propping up Bradley past his sell date after Manny beat his legs and confidence out of him in their first fight only to lose the Robbery of the Century in Vegas. Bradley wasn’t a draw back then, but the controversy made him more marketable to other fighters and fans who saw the damaged goods as I saw him. It didn’t help Bradley that the public turned on him like rabid dogs complete with death threats and a dearth of hate mail that put him in a depressive funk as anyone would suffer, he has my sympathies in that regard, after all, the decision was rendered by the typical suspect boxing judges, not by him in an otherwise courageous fight just to survive on two injured legs.

Ruslan Provodnikov was next in line after Pacquiao to get robbed, yupsir, by the same goof Pat Russell who can’t ever seem to figure what the hell is ever going on the ring. Ruslan caught Bradley in the opening round with a shotgun blast that sent Bradley to his knees clutching at Ruslan in a futile effort to stay up. Incredibly, Russell ruled a slip, and no sooner had Bradley gotten up from his “slip” than he fell into the best drunken chicken break dance since Zab Judah got one punched by Kostya Tzyzu a several years back and went down again. That’d be two knockdowns by Ruslan with one punch if boxing ever kept score that way, but he never got credit for even the single knockdown for thanks to Russell’s boner that would’ve made Ruslan the victor, not Bradley.

Most reputable refs would have stopped the bout for a Ruslan KO win right then and there, but sadly reputable and referees and boxing seldom meet in this current boxing climate.

No siree, no commie Ruskie is gonna take down an American in Russell’s court of law, so then equally blind judges awarded the “close” bout to Bradley who mostly ran around to avoid getting creamed further until his legs finally gave out and he was caught again in the last round. In his next bout Bradley got the best of a very close exchange early on with the 40 year Juan Manuel Marquez, yet then chose to run for the rest of the incredibly boring, non-participatory bout by Bradley who used to relish the good fight, but no more. Marquez was disgusted at the tactics and the decision, but then again, why should Bradley take any unnecessary chances against this new BALCO trained monstrous version of Marquez?

I can sort of see his point of view for that, but then he lost the rematch to Pacquiao where he looked utterly clueless again, almost club fighter like, and then on to a draw against an awkwardly strong club fighter, Diego Gabriel Chaves. In spite of his stellar record on paper, he lost his Ring P4P ranking in their recent staff shakeup and has further dropped down to 15th in Boxrec. Bradley used to be the alpha dog in the ring, dictating the pace and the style, but no more. His destiny now seems hellbent to cultivating the beta side of him as his physical advantages over opponents slowly decline.

So here he is against Rios who is a big, strong, powerful, pressure fighter with reasonably quick feet when on pursuit. Bradley has to run to maybe survive since he can no longer handle this kind of punching power or pressure, but now he has to worry if his legs can carry him for all 12 rounds. I’d sure like to see a fair decision out of boxing once in a blue moon, but we might as well be baying at a lunar eclipse while praying for the winning lotto ticket. Rios has had some training issues of missing weight during his lower weight classes in the past that have made him a big target of critics, but since Robert Garcia has trained him, Rios has successfully moved up in weight and been drilled into better shape with better discipline and game plan.

Rios still has to make weight at 147, so can he do it first try? That may well prove to be the key in this matchup. Can Bradley survive the guaranteed onslaught? His new trainer, the loonytunes buffo Uncle Teddy, can he even make it out of training camp without blowing everyone’s head gasket? Bradley’s damaged legs aren’t saying much yet, but we’ll be finding out soon enough.

 

Finally~Manny Pacquiao vs Timothy Bradley~The Rematch

Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley finally have a their big rematch come Saturday, April 12th at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas as they look to assauge their wounded pride from their fateful encounter almost two years before. Then n’er do well boxing gods, ring officials, and fans conspired against both of them in one of the biggest controversies of the new millennium.

Grrls In Support

Grrls In Support

Unfortunately, big boxing controversies are becoming a dime a dozen these days to be quickly buried under a never ending avalanche of new controversies, yet some of us still remember. Top Rank head honcho Bob Arum called for an investigation of himself to wash away the stench as the WBO reviewed the fight and concluded that Pacquiao had won a wide decision, not that it mattered one whit to the Nevada honchos who run Vegas boxing events.

This time around there is a new commish and new director in Nevada courtesy of yet another controversy over the scoring of the Saul Alvarez/Floyd Mayweather fight that didn’t even affect the final result for the fighters. Their “new and improved” mantra is that they will no longer be “rubber stamping” fights as they admitted to in the past.

Golly gee, and who to thank now?

Whatever. We know leopards don’t change their spots and boxing remains the only pro sport I can think of where the outcome is so uncertain and irregular than nobody in authority can make a good case as to who deserves to win in many of the matches because the rules are so poorly enforced and subjectively written. Just fill in some blabber with a jigger of opinion and a shot of balderdash before staggering on to the next round of controversial fights.

Boxing as currently scored has about 90% useless padded points added that make the results read like a typical basketball shootout of 100+ goals being scored, yet is actually ass backward one spare point at the time penalty oriented that defines the loser rather than the winner. Sometimes scores are even recalculated after the announced results PO some Big Shot who pulls rank.

Add on all the even rounds that boxing ignores by insisting judges pick the loser of every round no matter how poor the fighters looked or how mightily contested the round was, and it doesn’t matter how many think a fighter may have won or not. Boxing can fill in the result to fit their hidden agenda any time they want just like contract terms of the ring conditions such as ring size, surface, gloves, rehydration limits, ect are almost always hidden from the public view like a pea in a 3 shell monte game.

In that respect, I must applaud the WBC requirements for open scoring where ongoing scores are revealed in the 4th and 8th rounds of championship fights before final results are announced. That recently helped keep the hometown judging of Tony Thompson vs Odlanier Solis on a leash as compared to previously announced results of an undercard split decision where the scores were never revealed at all. The scoring and the judges may still be questionable as in the recent Danny Garcia/Mauricio Herrera controversy, but at least the fighters and fans have a sense of transparency that they never had before.

That’s a better start than incomprehensible half point nonsense or placing judges on pretentious pedestals looking down their noses on the fighters that boxing has been making noises about implementing. Yeah, right, and how about let’s put the ref in a clown suit and the judges in black robes and powdered wigs too while the promoter grinds his organ for their monkey dances?

Of course Bradley was rightly miffed at the official snub of his hard fought victory and grabbed all his marbles to go home to nurse his injuries while pondering the misanthropic death threats against him for the rest of the year and into the new year. He was finally coaxed out by Top Rank into fighting Ruslan Provodnikov and then baited by Freddie Roach into fighting toe to toe with the vicious punching Siberian Bear, almost a fatal mistake since Bradley got rung up hard and often, barely scraping himself off the canvas in the first and 12th rounds to hear the final bell for yet another disputed though exciting win. That fight was chosen as Ring Fight of the Year and led to the match against Juan Manuel Marquez, a weepingly dreary fight as Bradley put his defense on the back foot to make the 40 year old plodding counterpuncher trail him around the ring trying to force the action. The close split decision resulted in yet another dispute where Marquez claimed to have been robbed, his own personal mantra these days since nobody has yet been able to knock him out, not that knockouts have any more credibility than scoring these days either, but I regress.

All the while Manny Pacquiao was taking a well earned rest at home after a long boxing career and new congressional duties have left him in a precarious state, a state of recovery after being KTFO by Marquez in their fourth installment of what will be known as the greatest modern boxing series of the millennium for many long decades me thinks. Top Rank honcho Bob Arum has been trying to build up their frenzied 5th fight by making noises about staging it in the biggest Mexican bullring in the country with more than 100,000 spectators. There’s also the fallback to trusty MGM Grand or the vast Cowboy Stadium as capable of staging such a lucrative spectacle so as to lure the reluctant Marquez back into the breech of boxing history.

Crazed Filipino Media In Manny Heaven

Crazed Filipino Media In Manny Heaven

The unvarnished truth going into this upcoming bout is that both the 30 year old Bradley and 35 year old Pacquiao have been damaged and are not the same fighters as before. Bradley is no longer that awkward, leg driven irrepressible energizer bunny and Pacquiao is no longer the invincible Pacman gobbling up all who stand before him, but they can still both fight if need be and fight hard they surely will for the respect and acclaim both have lost through no fault of their own. Their first fight was an intense conflict of physical styles and test of mental wills with matching speed for at least the first 9 rounds, but then they ran out of steam. They ended up posing their way to the final bell before relying upon the unreliable crap shoot of judging.

Bradley reportedly fractured his left foot and sprained his right foot in that fight before being brought into the post fight presser in a wheelchair. He has since moved to a more traditional upright defensive style to cover for those leg injuries. After finally returning to the ring at end of 2013, Pacquiao scored a lopsided win over Brandon Rios in Macao, but he was definitely a bit gun shy and chose to box mostly. Bradley doesn’t hit as hard as Rios and Marquez and has his own chin issues with no best use of his legs as backup this time around, so I expect more overall offensive action as Pacquiao should be able to press him to force a fight instead of having to chase him around.

This may well be the best bout by the official rankings as can be made this year and could end up a shootout given the contrasting strengths and vulnerabilities of the fighters. Major props for the combatants in putting aside wounded pride and getting the rematch made. There were mixed announcements as to whether the drug testing was to be by the competing VADA or USADA cartels, but you can be certain results are all funneled through the NSAC.

Can “boxing” can keep it’s sticky fingers from lousing up the results again? We’re watching and we don’t forget.

The Day Boxing Died~~Where Have All The Sluggers Gone…”long time passing…”

IE: The Day Boxing Died~~Where have all the “American” sluggers gone to the tune of the alltime top classics below with the substitution in the lyrics.

The Day The Music Died by Don McLean

I was a lonely teenage broncin’ buck
With a pink carnation and a pickup truck
But I knew I was out of luck
The day the music(boxing) died

Where have all the flowers gone by Pete Seeger

Where have all the flowers(sluggers) gone, long time passing?
Where have all the flowers(sluggers) gone, long time ago?
Where have all the flowers(sluggers) gone?
Young girls(boxing poohbahs) have picked(neutered) them everyone.
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?

Mrs Robinson by Paul Simon

Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio(Joe Louis)
A nation turns it’s lonely eyes to you (Woo, woo, woo)
What’s that you say, Mrs. Robinson(Sugar Ray Robinson)
Joltin’ Joe has left and gone away
(Hey, hey, hey…hey, hey, hey)

There are still plenty of Latino sluggers and sluggers from the former Soviet states, but there is a critically endangered species watch for American sluggers as the most optimistic designation, or an extinct designation for the pessimist and realist. The top American fighters in their divisions are Floyd Mayweather Jr, Andre Ward, Timothy Bradley, and Bernard Hopkins, and none of them could pop a bubble gum bubble with a sledgehammer. They couldn’t break an egg with a piledriver. They couldn’t dent a stick of butter or bust a bag of popcorn with brass knuckles. Flies giggle when they pull out their flyswatters. The light in loafer crowd blow kisses at them.

Look, there is no shame in being a top boxing featherduster, but a quick look at the IBRO top 20 P4P greats indicates that traditionally big sluggers who could also box some were highly prized above all other fighters with some 15 out of their 20 being some great sluggers. Featherduster types like Willie Pep or Harry Greb were anomalies to the greater preference for boxer/punchers like Gene Tunney or Ezzard Charles or sluggers who were also good boxers like Jack Dempsey or Sam Langford. Not that we can ignore the fighter Hopkins pretends to be like, Archie Moore, the all time knockout king with 131 knockouts. Hopkins pretends like Olive Oyl pretends to being like Miss Italy or a garden slug pretending to be a tiger.

Pep and Greb each have tons more fights than these modern toothless wonders all combined if you want to talk about the light relevancy of modern fighters to the core history of boxing. Fighting canned, hometown fights once a year is what today’s boxing illiterati prize as their top two P4Pers in Mayweather and Ward.

Unbelievable that boxing has dwindled down to this.

Then to see the cloying, clinging cognoscenti rattle on about superior athleticism of today’s boxers is like watching a cat cough up a rat hairball as if they even knew the definition of athleticism much less how it might apply to the essentials of what makes a fighter an all time great. Archie Moore, Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis, Sam Langford, Jimmy Wilde, they weren’t competing in the decathlon, the timeless gold standard that track and field uses to define athleticism from whence the idea originated.

The decathlete needs both strength and speed allayed with rare superior coordination, endurance, and mental toughness to compete in 10 separate events in the heat of summer over a 2 day period. Jim Thorpe was the first modern athlete widely regarded as the greatest ever when he accepted gold medals in the 1912 Summer Olympics in both the pentathlon and decathlon, the only Olympian to ever win both. Not only, but he played Major League Baseball for a number of years before being a founder and first star of the fledgling National Football League, so his achievements greatly surpass modern athletes who seldom show multi-sport talent much less abilities to Thorpe’s gold standard. He was a pretty fair boxer and wrestler on top of all that. Today’s American boxing P4Pers have no strength or power, so we have to ask, how fast are these modern wunderkinds over 100 meters or 1500 meters and what are their pole vault and javelin numbers?

Not good enough to bother to count or who TF cares, take your pick. IBRO link here for an actual boxing comparison:

http://www.ibroresearch.com/?p=463

As often happens in boxing, the politics have shifted much like a storied slugging  pro baseball team falling on hard times, reacting as any politician might by changing the debate and altering their message to stay relevant. Baseball does this by expanding or contracting their field dimensions to complement their pitchers and hitters on the team. Visiting team sluggers can’t easily crack newly spacious outfield fences that reflect the type of left and right handed pitchers the hometown team has. If the home team is stocked with left and right handed sluggers, bring the fences in and blast out the visiting teams in a blizzard of homeruns.

;-

;-

Boxing can also alter ring dimensions and surfaces and shorten the rounds, but additionally has altered the debate and message on the fly as needed by altering the scoring rules on a fight to fight basis, wink-wink.

There was a noteworthy slip up in the “Boxing Poohbah World” recently when a well known and well impugned long time boxing rag mentioned in an article that good defense usually beats good offense. Oh brother, more drinkin’ instead of thinkin’ as happens too often in boxing publications, otherwise they would recall the order in the original Marquis of Queensbury rules. In order of importance, 1.) Offense, 2.) Defense, 3.) Ring Generalship.

Simply put, without offense there is no fight nor any purpose to boxing. It’s been proven that a fleet footed fighter in good condition can run around the ring forever avoiding most blows, but is that boxing or some catch me at the track type of sport? Yet highly hyped fighters will usually be given those types of decisions today, turning off boxing fans who don’t care for track meets which is why they wanted boxing, especially when boxing is allayed with slugging, not track…….DUH!

Not that the self appointed “boxing authorities” throughout history have paid any more attention to rules any more than democracies pay more than lip service to their constitutions. Rules are made to be broken as the saying goes in any state of governance including the anarchy of boxing as it grew out of illegal bare knuckle roots. Nonetheless, boxing remains the only sport where the loser of 100% of every second of every minute of the contest can be the resounding winner and newest big hero by delivering a thunderous knockout in the waning seconds of a fight as recently happened to longtime undefeated fringe heavyweight contender David Rodriguez, delivered by former fringe contender Darnell “Ding-a-ling” Wilson who didn’t get his name by pushing out marshmallows. Record here:

Darnell Wilson

There are various levels of offense starting with marginal round by round point accumulations as Mayweather totals his fights during his most acclaimed period, but slugging offense rules over all as the ultimate end statement. Moreover, a fighter loses at least a point every time they’re knocked down, negating an otherwise good boxing round in their favor.

Longtime curmudgeon Bernard Hopkins continues to charge that “slick black boxers” are being “underrated,” clearly clueless of the high Boxrec and Ring ratings of Floyd Mayweather Jr, Andre Ward, Timothy Bradley, plus the grizzled baldeth one hisself. I’m here to tell you that on the elemental boxing level in the ring, the Hopkin’s slick rhymes with “it” and starts with “sh” since all but Bradley are among the dirtiest of the top fighters, not that the sometimes butting Bradley is a saint.

Incidental fouls, however, are part of the sport which are supposed to be one of many reasons for an impartial referee if such a beast ever existed. Smart fighters like a Miguel Cotto will invariably fight a clean fight as he reserves the right to a well timed low blast to the protective cup anytime he gets hit hard enough to need some time to recover. He’ll gladly take that first warning and the time it takes for the opposing fighter to recover his ardor for fighting, usually not for the rest of the fight. That’s staying within the fair boundary of the rules.

Marshmallows anyone?

Marshmallows anyone?

Nonetheless, “unwritten” changes to rules emphasizing defense might explain the general malaise and ennui among the few remaining occasional public viewers. They might like to watch boxing, but are turned off by incomprehensible weekly scoring controversies, bogus referee stoppages, and idiotic referee interference on top of suffering the off putting powder puffery posing at the top of the boxing food chain. He’d really rather watch the girls volleyball tourney where he can at least honestly admire the form if he can’t see a good fight.

You could almost make the claim these top guys are illegally loading their gloves and protectors in helium the way they punch like junior strawweights. Willy Pep and Harry Greb made up for light punching by with a blizzard of offense delivered with either hand from every angle and position imaginable, some of the most exciting fighters ever. Top Americans today don’t actually want a fight, they want to box and foul in equal measure with a pro ‘rasslin’ type of ref ignoring their fouls that everyone else can plainly see as they dumb down a fight to a level they can a win at.

Timothy Bradley used to have a very dynamic unorthodox style of offense but lost a lot of hard earned respect  after his Pacquiao debacle and now fights in an upright safety first defensive style that he has struggled with. He flirts with the dark side of dirty, but thus far hasn’t crossed over because he wants to become a star and he still has a sense of honor in combat. Compare to Ward and Hopkins who have substituted grotesquely illegal tactics for much of their offensive output. Hopkins seemingly tutored Mayweather who debuted the Hopkin’s  patented upperbutt against Saul Alvarez before lacing his eyes a few rounds later. Then the ref had the audacity to warn Alvarez, not Mayweather. 

Folks, it ain’t just slugging that’s missing in action among today’s developing talent. There are a few still developing American sluggers in James Kirkland and Keith Thurman, but genuine boxing skills are lacking as Mayweather had when he was developing or as Ray Leonard and Tommy Hearns and Marvin Hagler developed coming up. There are no Oscar de la Hoyas, Shane Mosleys,  or Vernon Forests type quality coming up. I’m not some ol’ git who always thinks the new generation is inferior to the old generation either. That’s another debate entirely. I respect developing fighters willing to fight top competition no matter what their talent level is, but the canary in the boxing mine has sounded the alarm. 

Bottom line, from heavyweight down to welterweight, there are no extraordinary American fighters coming up. It took only one screwed up generation to leave American boxing effectively dead in the water after more than 120 years of dominance. I’ll close with some comments on a modern application of scoring as judges might be instructed………R.I.P.

This is a 4 part modern interpretation of Queensbury Rules. Note the double emphasis on OFFENSE, not fouls. Offense rules with defense counting dead last in this criteria, but let’s take a closer look:

  • Clean punching: “Clean” punches are punches that land on the face/side of the head and the front/side of the torso. (Modern pro judges have moved to Olympic type tap-tap scoring where body punches are almost never counted)
  • Effective aggressiveness: A boxer demonstrates this trait when he consistently and successfully moves forward in a controlled manner. (We’ve seen too many dominant offensive onslaughts ignored by judges, the most blatant examples are Ponce de Leon and Paulie Malignaggi dominating Adrian Broner with punches and ring generalship yet losing the fight.)
  • Ring generalship: The judges favor the fighter who controls the pace and style of the bout. (Judges in the criminal justice system and boxing actually favor wealthy defendants with high powered attorneys and big money fighters with big promoters. Always have and forever it shall be notable exceptions not withstanding)
  • Defense: Boxers that skillfully incorporate defensive maneuvers receive credit in this area.(Simply running is not is not the traditional defense of staying in the combat range as the fighter slipped, ducked, blocked and countered effectively, skillfully being another key word ignored. Twisting into a pretzel below the beltline is not skillful defense, it’s cowering much like flopping to the ground to buy time in the old bare knuckle days that London Prize Ring Rules corrected) 

Juan Manuel Marquez & Timothy Bradley Fight For Respect

Coming up fast under the wire like a nuclear studded stealth fighter comes the Timothy Bradley/Juan Manuel Marquez confrontation Saturday, October 12th at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. Hard to know how this bout is going to shake out because of the polar opposite styles and attributes of the two longtime P4P fighters. Prior to each fighting Manny Pacquiao, I would have favored the unrelentingly awkward frenzy of the quicksilver Bradley over the traditional, upright, stationary countering style of Marquez.

The boxing landscape has since rumbled massively on the Richter scale, swallowing up the Manny Pacquiao phenomenon of the last two decades that left him twisting cruelly in the forever hot winds of his critics. Nor have the two fighters responsible for that tectonic shift been able to escape venomous strikes against them. Timothy Bradley may have won the judges’ hearts in a split decision win over Pacquiao, but he lost a lifetime of respect built up over his considerable career thus far because nobody but his family thinks he came close to winning that fight.

Billions upon Billions...

Billions upon Billions…

Who to thank in Vegas for yet another rinse and repeat “rubber stamped” hack job? Insert Carl Sagan intoning “billions upon billions” of hack jobs littering the great boxing galaxy in perpetuity it would seem.

Speaking of Vegas, their favorite fighter not named Floyd Mayweather Jr just happens to be Juan Manuel Marquez. He may have finally scored a highlight knockout for the ages over his long time nemesis, but all was for naught on the respectometer due to the sordid reputation of his BALCO associated physical trainer Angel “Memo” Heredia who transformed Marquez’s modest physical frame into Hulk Jr. This ain’t your tubby, pissoir tonic guzzling Juan Manuel Marquez of the Floyd Mayweather Jr fight anymore, that’s for certain.

As to physical frames, Timothy Bradley is right out of a Superman comic book, clearly engaged in a lifetime of body building that he apparently pares down with a vegan diet during training camp if what I have read is correct. He loves to flex and pose, so it will be interesting to see the weigh in contrast between what used to be the modestly composed Marquez who used to let his fists do his talking in the ring.

Hulk Jr vs Superman Jr?

Hulk Jr vs Superman Jr?

Bradley was coaxed into a comeback of sorts after his one year rest period to recover from serious ankle injuries sustained in the Pacquiao bout. The deranged death threats against him and his family along with the failure of the boxing community to rally round his huge “upset” put a rust on his insecure form against Ruslan Provodnikov, a brutal bout Bradley spent much time out on his feet as he staggered around looking for a place to fall. We’ll see soon enough if he’s recover full use of his ankles and chin since this new form of Marquez punches harder than ever.

Marquez found out the hard way that hiring BALCO associated trainers won him no new fans either. This fight was cobbled together after a last ditch compromise that sees Bradley being tested by the illicit VADA drug testing cartel while Marquez is drug tested by some fly by night illicit drug testing cartel because of longtime down and dirty disputes between Victor Conte and Memo Heredia who claim to be cleaning up boxing with their magic elixirs. Yeah, and I’ve got some lovely ocean frontage in Afghanistan for sale too, just send me your bank account numbers for a steal….errr….the deal of the century!

It also goes without saying that neither of these guys can carry a PPV on their own, so it will be interesting how those numbers pan out. Both could’ve earned much more against Pacquiao, but their egos insisted on parity if not the lions share of that purse, so this fight is also when their high flying rockets make a hard return to the boxing business world they live in.

Bradley could get careless and pop like a burnt out light bulb, or he might do light saber pirouettes around the bulked out form of Marquez. Don’t know who the favorite will be since Marquez is 40 years old to Bradley’s 30, but like I say, Vegas loves Marquez, thus he can be seen as both the money and the home town fighter for this bout and likely the modest betting favorite.

Be a nice change of pace to see an exciting, well contested, well officiated, and well scored fight to make up for the last couple of big duds this year. Marketing grossly exceeded the quality of the officiating and fighting of the year’s big “events.” Mayweather vs Alvarez and Klitschko vs Povetkin were anticlimactic compared to the hype of their big money promotions, so maybe next year boxing can get quality back into big events…..always a next year.

Slugger Paridiso–Brandon Rios vs Mike Alvarado II

Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado reprise their blunt force fan thriller to go mano a mano again Saturday, March 30th at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas. The undercard has the potential for even more fireworks when unrepentant sluggers Breidis Prescott and Khabib Allakhverdiev go toe to toe, tooth and nail in the same division. Could be the winners fight each other in the next promotion with the losers fighting each other in support.

Unfortunately the card suffered a premature knockout when Allakhverdiev pulled out with a damaged shoulder. An unsung American fighter Terence Crawford is making a big step up the division as the replacement. He has a 22nd lightweight rank in Boxrec with an undefeated 19-0, 15 KO. Go figure Boxrec if you can, 18 of his fights have been above the lightweight limit, but guaranteed Prescott and Crawford will be near the 140lb limit at the weighin.

Tête à Tête

Tête à Tête

Rios has become something of a star for Top Rank. They have floated his name in potential bouts against Timothy Bradley, Juan Manuel Marquez, and supermegafighter, Manny Pacquiao. He won the last dukem up with Alvarado by way of spectacular knockout, but not before using his face to block a furious blizzard of shots from the smart boxing Alvarado who must have thought he was beating on a block of granite by fights end. That was for the WBO Latino title, this time around they’ll fight for the WBO interim title.

If Rios is to enter into the mega fight promotions, he absolutely has to win again and should be a substantial favorite to do so. The sticking point for him is how much more face first punishment can he absorb in a career before the wheels come off his express? To a lesser extent, the same applies to Alvarado who took similar punishment against Breidis Prescott before knocking him out in another spectacular fight.

Speaking of, Breidis Prescott briefly became an up and coming star of boxing after back to back wins, a gritty split decision win against current WBA lightweight champ Richar Abril, then a spectacular first round knockout of British darling, Amir Khan. The Prescott name was plastered across front pages of British tabloids for whom Khan had been tapped as the King in waiting. Unfortunately boxing is vicious at the business end and Prescott was never properly developed as mismanagement butchered his momentum and title aspirations. Newly signed under the Top Rank banner, he was finally challenging for the WBA light welterweight title against  Khabib Allakhverdiev, but no more since that fight was nixed.

Now Prescott is fighting to stay busy for his next shot at glory, but you can bet that Terence Crawford would like to take that shot instead. That’s what they all fight for, future opportunity, and perhaps a minor belt on the line by the time of the fight.

The 140 division currently has the lean and hungry look of the most dangerously stacked division in boxing, thank goodness for that.

*** Noted development in advance of fight: Brandon Rios and trainer Robert Garcia have revealed they are using BALCO derived elixirs of disgraced Angel Heredia/aka Hernandez to assist the Rios physical development.

Alvarado for his part doesn’t seem to care, but the news highlights further inroads the infamous BALCO tag team of Victor Conte and Angel Hereria have made into elite boxing circles.

Timothy Bradley Returns Against Freddie Roach & Ruslan Provodnikov

Timothy Bradley is getting his desired rematch of sorts, the rematch against Manny Pacquiao trainer, Freddie Roach, who will be administering the corner of his charge, the  mauling Siberian bear, Ruslan Provodnikov. The anticipated fire fight will take place Saturday, March 16th at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California.

Mr. Desert Storm

Bradley has regrettably been missing in action since his mega dustup last June at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas against Manny Pacquiao that created as much radioactive fall out as the Chernobyl Nuclear accident near 30 years previous. The ever game challenger to Pacquiao’s WBO title put in a gritty effort to hang on for the split decision in perhaps the most hotly disputed, high profile boxing result of the 3rd millennium.

He managed to finish the grueling, high paced bout on his feet before requiring immediate convalescence in a wheelchair with serious injuries to both his ankles and feet requiring rest and therapy, torned tendons and fractured bones being mentioned, but never verified.  I never got the final updated injury report, but Bradley needed and took substantial time away from boxing to sort out his health and future career options.

The Timothy Bradley name instantaneously became infamous in spite of being a fine Ring ranked P4P fighter long under appreciated by the larger boxing public. He was savaged on antisocial internet and boxing websites as if he had made the final decision of the judges, even reporting death threats by email and snail mail, a real stain on boxing fans if true.

His promoter, Bob Arum, called for an investigation into the bout which, ahem…..drum roll….revealed nothing. The WBO honchos reviewed the fight with a panel of judges and awarded the decision to Manny Pacquiao which, ahem…..drum roll….meant nothing.  

The highly radioactive Bradley rested on his laurel of thorns as Top Rank scrambled to find him another fight in advance of the anticipated rematch with Pacquiao. Nothing doing, Bradley wouldn’t budge. The opponents and the money just didn’t tick all the right boxes for him, so he waited, and waited, and waited some more. As Pfc Gomer Pyle was want to remind Sgt Carter, “Surprise, surprise,” and now Bradley’s a week away from his return against the aggressive punching, always swarming Ruslan Provodnikov. Both have been fighting in the 140 – 150 lb range for their careers. Both are at near identical 5-6 short stuff statures and 29 years of age, but they’ll be easy to tell apart in the ring, trust me.

Ruslan Provodkinov

The relatively unknown Provodnikov is Ring ranked in Bradley’s old junior welter division at #10, but lacks Bradley’s championship experience against top contenders. That along with being slower on the draw and a somewhat plodding face forward style makes him imminently beatable by Bradley on paper. The paper doesn’t record that Bradley pretty much ran out of steam in his intense bout against Pacquiao last year, meaning a high intensity pressure fighter in excellent condition could exploit that weakness late in the fight, especially if Bradley no longer has best use of his legs which have always been a key principle in his herky, jerky, jumping around style that has thus far kept him unbeaten.

The intangibles in this bout are intriguing enough. Freddie Roach has been baiting Bradley with some classics, ie; “When he feels Ruslan’s power, like when he felt Manny’s, it’s going to be a remake of Forrest Gump. ‘Run, Timmy, run!’ This isn’t about Ruslan finishing what Manny started. It’s about duplicating  it.” Roach has been working with Provodnikov long enough to add some wrinkles for this bout, so clearly the Siberian is hungry enough to pull an upset since Roach doesn’t work with slackers. He’s been Pacquiao’s lead sparring partner for two camps now.

Speaking of hungry, Bradley says he goes vegan during his training camp to pare down his unusually cut, overdeveloped physique. His legs look like pipe cleaners compared to his bulging torso, perhaps a clue to his recent ankle injuries.

Bigger than advertised!

Bigger than advertised!

Bradley has said he wants to make a statement with a knockout of the very durable Siberian who has only lost one bout, and that by decision. Since Bradley has stepped up to championship level boxing in his last 9 fights, he’s only had a single knockout and that over the 40 year old Joel Casamayer.

We could have some fun here and note that Bradley looks like Tarzan and punches like Jane, but truth is he does have some hurtful enough pop to knock fighters down and change their fight strategy, so we’ll just have to see about all that.

Pacquiao vs Marquez 4 The Money

Pacquiao vs Marquez 4 The Money at MGM Grand, Saturday, December 8th is the shorthand of all you need to know.

`36 Rounds & Counting

36 Rounds & Counting

I did become excited about this fight when Bob Arum bigged up a Mexico City venue, just the place to make Marquez step out of his shell and try for once to really take it to Pacquiao, and just the sort of challenge that Pacquiao loves, a Mexican Bullring packed to the hilt with El Locos screaming for  mano a mano Mexican style boxing that the Filipino relishes. Imagine the contagion spreading around the world on fight night with HBO and Larry Merchant broadcasting from Mexico City as tens of millions storm the worldwide broadcasters for a stream of the fight on whatever set ups they’re using!

Nope, ain’t gonna happen that way.

I gather the numbers didn’t work since Marquez has been a Vegas fighter for most of his career and lacks the overwhelming Mexican support that Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales enjoyed. Marquez is a Top Rank fighter now, so Arum gave him a trial run  in Mexico City against Ukrainian Serhiy Fedchenko for the WBO junior welter title. Marquez aggressively outpointed Fedchenko for his 4th divisional title.

Pacquiao has also become something of a Vegas fighter with Arum carefully booking him at MGM Grand, Floyd Mayweather Jr’s home for the last several years. Mayweather might decide to take the plunge and make a Pacquiao fight on the spur of the moment, so Arum maybe looks to keep the Grand booked for all future Pacquiao dates.

The Trilogy

The Trilogy

As you can see, Marquez was well packed and ripped for the rubber match in a fashion that he has never been thanks to Angela Heredia, one of many infamous trainers part of the BALCO scandal. Somehow he avoided the convictions and jail time others in the scandal were handed, probably by plea deal in exchange for favorable prosecution testimony.

Regardless of whether or not Marquez has fallen into the PEDs trap, his conditioning has been at career bests against Pacquiao. I had hopes that he could provide a good fight against Mayweather when he moved up two divisions a few years back, but then he started taking his frothy health cocktails drawn from a spigot hooked up to his own private pistola, well, I winced and hoped I wouldn’t heave. Then the comic book endurance and strength training of him throwing around large rocks at altitude evaporated whatever chance he had against the crafty Mayweather.

Pacquiao is taking on his third P4P fight in a row with Timothy Bradley sandwiched between Marquez, and, boy howdy, what a surprise wake up call against the undefeated physical phenom. Pacquiao took it big time to Bradley for 9 rounds, hitting him so hard that the shock waves popped tendons in Bradley’s ankles loose from their moorings. Incredibly Bradley didn’t go down in spite of sporting the usual Pacquiao souvenirs of a lumped up, mashed out of place face before convalescing in a wheelchair after the fight ended.

Even more incredibly, the Vegas judges awarded Bradley the split decision in a fight nobody thought was even close. The outrage was such that the WBO commissioned 5 veteran judges to review the fight and awarded Pacquiao the unanimous decision, yet Bradley still holds the WBO title. Bob Arum called for an investigation of himself, wanting to distance himself from the grievous improprieties of the Nevada commission who stacked the judges.

Bradley did physically extend out Pacquiao’s conditioning more than any fighter yet. The 9th round is what turned around the fight for Bradley as he was completely exhausted, a sitting duck for legendary straight left hands that made Pacquiao the most celebrated fighter since Muhammad Ali. Right at the point of the knockout, Pacquiao hit the wall and went into slower and slower motion until they were standing there looking at each other in disbelief. Neither had anything left to mount a decent assault for the rest of the fight, yet Bradley won the judges over while the rest of boxing told him that he really didn’t win the fight. Yeah, thanks guys.

The decision was a headscratcher until you consider the source. This is boxing in Vegas that’s moving closer to pro wrestling in plot line and choreography, see  the Ortiz/Mayweather outrage, and in outcomes, see any of dozens of their fights every year where the judging defies all logic.

There always has been a long standing prejudice against big sluggers like Pacquiao when they fail to knock out their opponent as was expected. Big Vegas Players lose huge sums no matter how technically nuanced Pacquiao has become under Freddie Roach, so it means nothing to judges who know the bottomline. The Marquez and Bradley fights were the easiest fights Pacquiao has had in ages as evidenced by his postfight choirboy looks as opposed to his typical mangled features after he lays down ferocious beatings and knockouts as the most celebrated offensive fighter of the decade. All the lumps were transferred to Bradley and Marquez.

Pacquiao didn’t help his concentration by the revelations of his marital woes hours before the Marquez fight when he was supposedly served divorce papers. His concentration further lapsed before the Bradley fight when he came out against gay marriage in the home state of the powerful Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a liberal democrat in support of gay marriage who Pacquiao had previously campaigned for. Boxing results shouldn’t be determined by politics, but the reality has always been that if the referee and/or judges want, they can determine the outcome of any fight, not the fighters, and the Nevada Commish is a political appointment.

Pacquiao suffered his first officiating outrage with the Agapito Sanchez  Technical Draw when the Dominican Billy Goat butted his way out of the fight. I’ve never seen a better example of a fighter that should have been DQed after it was obvious butting was the only offensive tool in his arsenal. Then the admitted scoring error in the first Marquez fight that would have given Pacquiao the split decision instead of a draw. Then the missed 2nd knockdown by referee  Kenny Bayless in the rematch that should have been at least a unanimous decision for Pacquiao if not a knockout when Marquez walked to Pacquiao’s corner, clearly out on his feet. Bayless is also the ref for the 4th installment, so we’ll see if he can get it right this time around.

Maybe Marquez can borrow some of the fight from diehard JMMarquez fans who continue to litter the internet with bitter claims of victory over Pacquiao. He really does need some extra fight to him IF he REALLY wants to beat Pacquiao.

The Rubber was a stylistic technical disappointment for both. Marquez throw a some furious popcorn flurries off the backfoot that never put a dent into Pacquiao’s features, whereas Pacquiao leading right hooks swiped Marquez’s left eye half closed and his straight lefts lumped up his right side, but he never really went after Marquez nor did he ever hurt him or knock him down like previous encounters.

Pacquiao for his part needs to understand the sympathies that Vegas holds for Marquez and bring back some of his aggressive offense that made him such a legend. No need to abandon technical boxing, just step up the intensity a few notches or risk another controversial decision that might not go his way.

It should also be noted that Pacquiao continues to break his own record for the most Ring P4P fights, the Marquez rubber being his 11th and Marquez will vault into sole ownership of 2nd place with his 5th P4P fight. He’s currently tied with Mayweather for 2nd place with 4 each.

FYI, you can read about the compelling parallel P4P histories of Pacquiao and Mayweather here:

https://roberto00.wordpress.com/2011/06/11/modern-p4p-rankings-manny-pacquiao-vs-floyd-mayweather-jr/

Another interesting development going into this fight is that after Mayweather was released from prison, he quietly paid out a private settlement with a public apology to Pacquiao in exchange for dropping the lawsuit that Mayweather had lost every round in. The IRONY is now Mayweather has been hit with hard rumors about 3 positive drug tests that were hushed up by Golden Boy Promotions and the  USADA drug testing cartel. Here’s the skinny by Thomas Hauser that pretty much backs up what I’ve been saying about the poor reporting in the boxing media about drug testing, plus plenty of new revelations:

http://www.maxboxing.com/news/max-boxing-news/the-ped-mess-part-one

Yes, most anywhere we look in the boxing world, there’s a lot of cynicism over the 4th fight between Pacquiao and Marquez. It doesn’t seem possible they could top their previous PPV total, yet there should be plenty of interest in the fight come first bell.

Who wants to miss what could be the best fight by far between these warrior adversaries? Not a chance. 

The P4P Battle–Manny Pacquiao vs Timothy Bradley

Long time Ring P4P King, Manny Pacquiao, goes up against one of the latest Ring P4P Princes, Timothy Bradley, in what promises to be one of the most dynamic all action fights of the year at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday, June 9th.

Or it could end on an ugly leaping headbutt, but regardless, Pac Man meets a serious physical challenge in the awkwardly hard charging fellow shortstuff Desert Storm Bradley who never met an angle he couldn’t punch from or used a muscle that wasn’t fully flexed out. Although the sculpted Bradley amazingly may be down on the power charts, he provides the kind of action that could be fought from pillar to post for as long as the fight lasts.

Fight!

Fight!

Bradley is always in tremendous condition, boxing’s nonstop Energizer Bunny in the ring, but if recent form holds of Pacquiao opponents whipping themselves into best ever career conditions, Pacquiao may have trouble picking his spots like he was able to do against the laid back defensive counterpuncher Juan Manuel Marquez in his last fight. He just might be forced into his old school Pacman slugging frenzy, not  bad thing for fight fans as Ricky Hatton found out.

Speaking of the Marquez rubber match, the worm may have turned on the phenomenon of Manny Pacquiao’s unparalleled career. The Congressman/Boxer was heavily booed in his decision win over the popular Vegas fighter, a highly technical bout that resembled two feuding Spanish matadors taking turns at lightning rapier thrusts of their estocadas for the finishing strike.

Pacquiao came up as an all action slugger in the mold of a Jack Dempsey, but is now picking his shots like the master boxer he’s become under the tutelage of trainer Freddie Roach. He’s become so defensively adept that he made the counter punching Marquez whiff amazingly wide on many occasions, but all apparently for naught with Vegas crowd. Bradley is not nearly so popular, but if he succeeds in taking the fight to Pacquiao and having some success, well, who can say how an fickle boxing crowd is really going to react until the moment arrives?

The Congressman/Boxer is also being investigated by the Philippine government  for alleged improprieties in one of his charitable organizations. It’s no surprise that big guns are after Pacquiao now since his stated ambition is to run for the presidency in the next election, so he may be in need of an overhaul of his “staff” of faithful followers if he is to ever achieve that ambition. Also, he may or may not have been served his divorce papers on the eve of the Marquez fight, depending on the source.

OUCH!

Pacquiao may be a grizzled ring veteran of 33 years of age now, yet he is as distracted now as he was in the first Morales fight 7 years ago where he was undergoing highly disputed managerial and promotional scrums over his services that left him exposed in the ring without his beloved Reyes’ puncher’s gloves.

The extracurricular distractions have slowly extracted their toll, so the time could be ripe for a prime young gunslinger who’s never been beat and hungry for recognition to show up at the right place at the right time for the huge upset if he can stay upright. Otherwise it’s gonna be a painful night if Bradley gets behind on the scoring because of knockdowns, something Marquez can attest to.

Bradley does have some problems with his balance, his helter skelter attacks leaving him ripe for sharp counters, so I’d imagine that would be the focus of the Roach strategy.

Noteworthy news is that the Boxrec P4P ratings formula has moved Mayweather up after the win over Miguel Cotto, finally edging Pacquiao to become their new #1. Ring’s more personalized opinion is to demote Pacquiao into a tie with #2 Floyd Mayweather and leave #1 newly vacated,  rather akin to throwing the baby out with the bathwater by alleged boxing experts. They simply haven’t compared their actual Ring P4P records, 4-0, 2 KO for Mayweather to 7-1-1 for Pacquiao with more KOs, 5, than Mayweather has P4P fights. Moreover, Pacquiao has twice moved to a new division to face the top Ring fighter in his inaugural fight at the weight, something Mayweather has never done during his rise through the divisions.

I can’t be bothered, but I’d imagine the Boxrec historical p4P data would pretty much parallel the Ring P4P data, ie both Ring and Boxrec curently having Bradley ranked #9 P4P.

Impressively, Bradley will be Pacquiao’s 10th career Ring P4P bout, a new record with every P4P fighter he meets now.

Since most every fan agrees to disagree with the “experts” anyway no matter the order of the fighters attached to #1 through 10, it’s all a bunch of hooey for show and bragging rights in the end. The true tragedy is that the explosive primacy for Pacquiao vs Mayweather has gone the fizzle route. If by a strike of drizzling lightning they do happen to meet next year, Manny will be 34 years old and many years into his Congressional duties and Floyd will be 36 after completing his prison sentence and probably still on probation. 2013 is a long ways in boxing years from the March 13th, 2010 date  that Mayweather demanded and Pacquiao accepted. The terms were quickly agreed upon when the fight was at it’s hottest apex with Manny at age 31 and Floyd at age 33.

Alas, the best laid plans of mice and men gone awry yet again.

Speaking of the worm turning, Miguel Cotto may not have won the battle against Floyd Mayweather, but perhaps the war as he dished out as good as he got and undermined the invincibility of Mayweather. Then the Al Hayman managed Mayweather stablemate, Andre Berto, has been reported to have trace amounts of a steroid by VADA,  the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association  testing agency, so the repeated accusations that Floyd Mayweather slung at Pacquiao are now dangling on his doorstep making a big stink as the spokesman for “cleaning up boxing.”  Maybe he’s trying to clean out Al Hayman who has little left to promote during the interim as Mayweather prepares for his impending Nevada incarceration on June 1st.

Mayweather should at least be able to console himself with his better Cotto PPV numbers than Pacquiao is likely to show against the relatively unknown Bradley. For boxing fans who prefer fight stats, Pacquiao is currently 6-0-1, 3 KO against common opponents to Mayweather’s 5-0, 1 KO.

The less than honorable Berto trainer and ex-con Victor Conte was bragging about being such a whiz as an advisor and spokesman for VADA  after the Lamont Peterson postive test shocker, but now is jumping ship and explaining it all away.  What a can of worms and cancelled fights Golden Boy and HBO has fallen into, cancelling multimillion dollar fights on the specious trace readings in parts per trillion that very few of their bigshots or the public could pass if they tried.

Pacquiao with the big fight experience will be the betting favorite, but Bradley has been pointing to this fight for over a year, beating southpaws Devon Alexander and Joel Casamayor consecutively. Bradley first made his chops by flying overseas to England to dethrone southpaw favorite Junior Witter in his best ever showing. He’s an aggressive swaming type whose style is reminiscent of HOFer Aaron Pryor even if lacking Pryor’s firepower.

He did knock out the elderly Casamayor after scoring some knockdowns, but his fight with Alexander ended with a butt that went to the cards for a technical decision. Bradley tends to lead with his head, so in a lefty/righty fight, butts seem a certainty and may leave both seeing stars.

Lets’ also be clear about their weights since Pacquiao has had a series of controversial catchweight fights. Bradley turned pro at 143 lbs a few weeks shy of his 21st birthday and has since mostly fought at the junior welter limit, but sometimes straying well over in nontitle fights. Pacquiao has been in the 142-146 range for his 7 welter fights, so Bradley is the natural lifetime welter and as far as I know the fight is at the full welter limit of 147lbs. If promotional comments hold a kernel of truth, Bradley considers Pacquiao to be weaker than him who can be easily counterpunched, so he expects to bully Pacquiao around the ring while sharpshooting him.

I see an up and down type of fight with a series of adjustments until the magic formula is found for the win. Could be a Bradley upset, or another Pacquiao beatdown, or anything between, but guaranteed  by styles to be quickly paced action with some interesting technical twists. Bradley is a harder nut to crack compared to most any fighter in the world right now and knows he could make a splash into the Big Buck$ pool, but only IF he defeats Pacquiao cleanly with some style.

Then again, Pacquiao probably feels his future election to the Philippine presidency hinges on every win, so who could beat that kind of motivation?

Fight!