Nobody was calling for this rubber match, yet we’ll find Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley Jr scrapping again, perhaps in this 3rd time the charm to daze and amaze us at the MGM Floyd in Las Vegas come April 9th. Amir Khan had been begging to fight Manny and was likely the frontrunner, but as typical, he priced himself out much like he did with TUE. At any rate, Bradley is a much more difficult fight for Pacquiao because he’s just as fast, more awkward, and has already logged 24 rounds of hard earned experience.
Such matchmaking shenanigans are the currency of the current sorry state of coldwar between Top Rank and Al Haymon that this rubber happens to be the most viable option for Manny. JMMarquez has steadfastly refused to sign up for a highly lucrative 5th fight, and most every other notable welter is signed with Al Haymon, a non starter for consideration.
Bradley is coming off his best showings in many years after knocking out Brandon Rios. I never counted his running, fleeing, spare split decision over 40 year old Juan Manuel Marquez in 2013 for much. Marquez was quite miffed about Bradley’s lack of engagement, but then Bradley struggled to secure another split against Argentine club fighter Diego Gabriel Chaves. Next, as he was polishing up an excellent showing against undefeated Top Rank darling Jessie Vargas, he was knocked out according to the rules and the reactions of the ref, Pat Russell, but NOOOOOO, this is boxing we’re talking of, so of course the ref amazingly overruled his previous actions to allow the fight to continue. That neat trick bought Bradley enough time to survive the final seconds of the last round that unluckily for Vargas ended the fight, only in boxing folks.
While the previous two Bradley/Pacquiao fights weren’t exactly barnburners, they did showcase solid skills, plenty of speed, action, and an interesting style clash for those of a technical viewing bent. Unfortunately both were terribly scarred from the horrendous officiating of the first fight and it’s been an uphill battle to fortify their careers ever since. With them both being somewhat vulnerable these days, they could make for a closer, more dynamic fight. The odds have closed dramatically in this last week with Pacquiao only a nominal 2-1 favorite now.
One new wrinkle for this bout came out of the blue when Bradley picked a new trainer for the Rios fight, the unsparing, loonytune, and congenital loose cannon, Teddy Atlas, who was mentored by Cus D’amato, but not for long after he pulled a gun on the teenage Tyson. His training resume is sparse, briefly with Michael Moorer and Donny LaLonde a long time ago as his biggest successes, and later dragging down Russian heavyweight Alexander Povetkin into the depths of despair most recently. He never seemed to have the mental stability needed for the job, most worryingly at one point going looking for LaLonde with a pistol meaning to do criminal harm. Fortunately he didn’t find Donny, but Bradley found Atlas and convinced him to sign on for the Rios fight. Bradley unveiled a new Wlad Klitschko clinch and release style for that fight that finally made use of his previously useless big muscles, limiting the offensive output of the highly dangerous Rios. And to think that Teddy has spent the better part of two decades running down three of the all time boxing talents ever, the Klitchko brothers and Manny Pacquiao, but I guess he finally found a clue with the clinching strategy and swung with it. It was an odd KO by the light punching Bradley with Rios almost looking like he quit, but I tend to think it was one of those moments when the right punch, the Mexicans call it El Gacho, a left hook to the liver that finally landed in a fashion that flattered the disbelieving Bradley.
In contrast, Pacquiao last looked terrible in his last outing against TUE 49-0 who refused to engage to take another home cooked decision based on little more than tossing out the sparest of unpopped kernels of popcorn before turning his back to duck and flee the scene of the crime. See my comments on boxing scoring below. Then the post fight revelation of Manny’s shoulder injury leaked out followed weeks later by revelations by Thomas Hauser of Mayweather’s TUE saline flush just before the fight, but wait, there’s more, this is boxing! The scandal further compounded when the USADA’s Theraputic User Exemption was found to be submitted for approval to the Vegas commish a full 3 weeks after the fight ended. The Vegas commish are the same folks who allowed TUE’s hand injections while denying Pacquiao’s request for an injection for his injured shoulder…only in boxing folks. To pile on to that blatant bias, the official scorecards showed the Red Corner winning the fight, ie Manny being in the red corner, before the cards were altered after being submitted…only in boxing folks. These yahoos couldn’t organize a garage sale with the correct sticker prices, but they sure managed to screw up the most lucrative signature boxing event in the 3rd millennium pretty good to give boxing another black eye…gee, thanks guys.
Currently there is a combined $400 million combined lawsuit against Al Haymon by Golden Boy and Top Rank on top of a few dozen more lawsuits against the two fighters filed by various fans(re: gamblers) feeling robbed as we all were by the farce that I elaborated about before the fight ever commenced.
And if that wasn’t enough problems to send most mortals to an early grave, the the mainstream tabloid press recently dropped a cluster bomb that went viral when it was revealed in February that Manny had said that homosexuals were lower than animals during an interview conducted in his native language that nobody but Filipinos could understand. That minefield had already been well seeded and won’t be going away anytime soon after Pacquiao’s similar comments in the lead up to the first Bradley fight, one of the all time robberies in boxing when the shocked Bradley was announced the winner. The winner immediately had to recuse himself to a wheelchair because Manny had hit him so hard that his ankles popped loose and had to undergo rehabilitation in order to properly function again. But wait, there’s more. Manny did it again in the 2nd fight, popping Bradley’s knee loose this time.
Let’s be clear though, Manny is running for another high public office, the Senate in the Philippines, so his opponents are going to every length to discredit him. Tabloid media has hundreds of sordid years of history of quoting people out of context or making up lies, but since Manny quickly apologized, he must of said something along those lines even as he added that some biblical quotes attributed to him were made up by the media. While his animal comment is regrettable, the imperious, sanctimonious condemnation by the tabloid press was the much greater abomination. One example would be the boorish Bill Dwyre who says he’s retired from the LA Times and now pens articles for Ring Magazine and Fightnews. This is a guy who toed the dirty corporate tabloid line in his sports reporting like most do if they want to keep their jobs. A prime example would be the media typically pandering the story of Floyd Mayweather wanting Olympic drug testing, when anyone could clearly see he only wanted his very own personalized, well paid for drug testing program, and he got it while most of our dear reporters were collecting paychecks for their dutiful blither that they used to slander Manny as if he was ever opposed to drug testing.
More to the point, in one of Dwyre’s recent condemnations of Manny, he utterly clowned himself by claiming animals of the same sex “procreate” with each other, I kid you not. Sorry to tell you Billy Boy, but no mammals of the same sex can make offspring through a sex act, P-R-O-C-R-E-A-T-I-O-N…DUH, something any 7th grader can tell you about. Animals are animals and serve no gay agenda any more than they do Republican, Democrat, or any other political agenda. Of course many in this world like to anthropomorphize their pets with human characteristics as they also take on the characteristics of their “beloved” pets, the animals. Atheist and anthropologist camps like to note that Humans are animals, so maybe George Orwell did get it right in his classic, 1984, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
I can appreciate that gays wanting their due civil rights under the laws of the US constitution, as all self respecting citizens would like their own due civil rights, but unfortunately life often doesn’t respect the US Constitution, so we get trampled, especially in 3rd world countries. The gay agenda has morphed into dirty politics just like Republican, Democrat, religious, and most every other worthwhile philosophy once it crosses over the ideal into the political realm that would include, ahem, a certain Philippine boxer running for office. What was he thinking?
Nonetheless, boxing at it’s worst is almost always more honorable than politics that typically create ideal conditions for intractable poverty, disease, injuries, and fatalities compared to the few negative repercussions of boxing. Boxers tend to spring from the poor multitudes beaten down by dirty politics, only trying to fight their way out of otherwise bleak futures. Maybe Billy hasn’t noticed these days that he’s just being used as clickbait in support of the antisocial media comments underneath his articles, so perhaps he should remove the giant logs from his eyes and venture forth to take a sniff of that filth he sits atop of. The puerile pile steams of the discourse of raw sewage, consistently delivering the most aggressively racist, homophobic, sexist, and nationalistic slurs imaginable not to mention brutally violent threats. Far too many have been against Manny dating from when he came to America two decades ago to obliterate the highly popular Three Mexican Amigos, Barrera, Morales, and Marquez. Please do launder your own dirty laundry first Billy, and maybe buy some vowels for some integrity for once in your subservient, lackey life. The typical morally Imperialistic American with his extended height and belly may loom in self righteous indignation over the diminutive Manny, but rest assured neither you nor you colleagues at your best could ever lift Manny’s jock strap on his worst day.
Even Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum turned on him, conveniently forgetting his own ill advised 15 minute rant at JM Marquez in the post fight presser after the 2nd fight with Manny. How many times and how many ways did he scream at Marquez to go fuck himself? While Marquez had a reprimand coming after stupidly complaining about the result, we had to turn away from the sheer volume of Arum’s poisonous profanity pouring forth. And how about Arum’s comments about the UFC where he opined that “nobody wants to see a bunch of guys humping on the canvas?” Where was the gay community outrage then? My guess is they were too busy planning their next public parades and costume parties replete with cross dressing of sexes for insulting pantomimes of heterosexual men and women and their families that they think is so cute. We could only imagine the international condemnation if Manny chose a Halloween party to cavort around as a gay blade or in black face.
It strikes me that in today’s world, Adolh Hitler was born a century too early. Today he wouldn’t have to militarize Germany to invade Europe. Instead he could easily consolidate power off shore thru pyramiding corporate structures and then direct various governments to make his wars for him. No need for those unsightly genocidal death camps either, just tap the teeming 3rd world backwaters for his disposable slaves, a perpetually renewable source of labor. That’s the ticket for world domination these days.
The above was the backdrop from where a desperate, starving, 98 lb stick of a Filipino kid emerged to upset all the odds stacked against him and his people. Those of the western world shielded by the thin veneer of their poorly constructed bubbles of moral hypocrisy shouldn’t be throwing rocks much less lobbing smart bombs on the poor wretches of the world, yet they surely do just as sure as they still stone people to death in the Middle East. Many “boxing writers” today scarcely know much about boxing past droning on endlessly about idiotic punchmonkey numbers. yet another boxing “genius” recently filled his shorts about how Manny can’t win the election after his gay smear. It’s a crapshoot Einstein, nobody knows how the Philippine election will turn out for Manny, not even Filipinos.
In short, gay community supporters generally lack the high moral ground they wish to claim regarding this episode, but they could learn to roll with his apology and move on to more productive endeavors that affect all citizens that they claim to be a part of. As a homeless kid scrapping for his very existence on the 3rd world streets, Manny doubtless had untold negative contacts with homosexuals that forged his views, something that soft western culture is mostly insulated from.
Now, lecture over and back to the match up. Could be that Loony Uncle Teddy and Bradley were destined for each other since Bradley, and more importantly his wife who from all reports seems to run his show these days, so do they believe in miracles? Word is that Tim has taken to eating meat for this fight, his previous vegan diets thought to be a weakness in his extremely strenuous profession that I alluded to in previous articles after his leg injuries piled up.
His training camp has cloaked this fight in a surreal type of wet and foggy Zen mysticism, labeling it The Log in the Ocean. Against Rios during the heat of battle, Teddy was screaming about them being firemen fighting fires, which I guess sort of ties in with Bradley’s fighting moniker of Desert Storm. Beats drinking Koolaide, but if anything might tip the fight in their favor it will be the incessant clinching, not the motivation factor which Bradley always overflowed with. I don’t think Manny is strong enough to handle extensive clinching though he did OK against TUE in that misbegotten fight.
The Typhoon Manny that stormed the boxing world in the first decade of the millennium has long been tamed by the boxing nuance provided by Freddie Roach. Nobody yet knows how well Manny’s shoulder has recovered after surgery, but he does want to go out in style. This is supposedly his last fight because of the strain of being a congressman and fighter all these years not to mention being a professional basketball coach, player, and all around movie star and recording artist. It’s ridiculously crazy to think anyone could ever do so many things, and true, nobody else but Manny has or ever will. If we look at his overall record, he has the most historically spellbinding rivalries in all modern boxing, Erik Morales x 3, Marco Antonio Barrera x 2, Juan Manuel Marquez x 4, and now Tim Bradley x 3. Everyone of them a certified Ring P4Per with nobody else in boxing history being close to putting up his overall number of Ring rated P4P fights, wins, and KOs, currently 8-4-1, 5 KO going for his 14th P4P fight.
That’s why he so grabbed the international community’s attention during the largest boxing poll ever conducted in 2009 with over a half million frenzied boxing aficionados participating. The poll was staged in Las Vegas by an international group of boxing scribes to oversee the boxing communities phoning in their picks from all over the world.
P4P #1. Sugar Ray Robinson #2. Manny Pacquiao #3. Muhammad Ali
#1 Welterweight: Sugar Ray Robinson, #1 Featherweight: Manny Pacquiao, #1 Heavyweight: Muhammad Ali, #1 Lightheavyweight: Roy Jones Jr, #3 Lightweight, TUE 49-0.
And what about the Punch Monkeys who tally up nonsensical Peter Pan numbers for talking airheads to babble about. There’s a good chance these numbers will be just about even for this fight. Some recent fights that show the useless babble of those bubblegum boxing experts would be the Kovalev vs Pascal rematch where Sergey grotesquely outlanded Pascal in a terrible beat down that anyone could see. The announcers are probably contractually obligated to blabber about this corruption of the sport, but they should be obligated to have noted that the fight needed to be stopped earlier since Pascal was slumped head down for most of the fight taking mega punches. Pascal has never been the same since his tangle with Kovalev. The second example is Bradley/Pacquiao 1 and 2. First fight Pac “outlanded” Bradley 253 to 159, or 34% to 19%, yet Manny lost a split decision that anyone could see was wrong without needing the stats. Second fight was slower paced with Bradley slightly improving his performance as Manny coasted more, yet Manny still outlanded Bradley 198 to 141, or 35% to 22%, not as dominate as the first fight, yet this time Manny got a modestly wide decision. So if boxing clearly doesn’t use punch numbers, what good are they? Maidana hits 5x harder than TUE and deserved the decisions according to many, but did judges ever bother to multiply his numbers by that factor to give him the decision? Of course not, boxing and punch monkeys are all about serving up a mystery meat baloney sandwiches as far as their end of the product goes. If they were as half as well trained and half as competent as the fighters, the quality of officiating would shoot up 500% and fans would be flocking back in droves.
The official “ABC” guidelines of scoring that boxing is supposed to adhere to with my commentary to follow:
Judges should avoid scoring a round even. (Complete concentration and application of the scoring criteria will allow Judges to pick the winner of each round.) Boxing the only major sport that won’t score even intervals of competition as even. The “Money or Home” fighter typically gets these even rounds to cause great controversy, usually much of the clamor caused by busted wagers on the fight.
1. Clean punching (power versus quantity). Maidana hits 5x harder than TUE, but got no credit as the most blatant example of judges ignoring their rules.
2. Effective aggressiveness. Highly subjective terminology generally ignored as needed when judges are so directed.
3. Ring generalship. Highly subjective terminology generally awarded to American runners as needed when judges are so directed.
4. Defense. Highly subjective and LAST in value, but first in TUE 49-0 scoring. Judges are directed to use it as needed to boost the favored money fighter.
Since Pacquiao has a history off poor officiating aligned against him, let’s look at the officials this time around. Robert Byrd, the ref in the first Bradley fight will reprise his role. As I recall, he did fine in that bout save missing Bradley touching down in the 5th, but now due to a health issue has been replaced by Tony Weeks. Weeks had previously earned TUE 49-0 wrath by allowing to Marcos Rene Maidana to bludgeon him in a straight up fight instead of protecting him. Weeks was banned from any further TUE fights. Dave Moretti and Burt A. Clements were 118-112 and 116-112 respectively in Manny’s last fight against TUE, but Moretti always gives TUE wide wins. Clements was at least somewhat reasonable in that stinker, but wait, remember it was Clements who manned up to making a mistake in the first Manny/Marquez bout by botching the scoring of the 3 knockdown first round that would have given Manny the split decision. We normally don’t see that level of integrity out of boxing judges, but it’d be nice if the judges were credible this go round given the histories. Steve Weisfeld is the 3rd judge. He seems to be reasonable overall, especially in his scoring of the 4th JMMarquez action packed fight, 47-46 for Pacquiao before the KO.
Longtime champ, 36 year old Arthur Abraham, 44-4, 29 KO, defends his WBO Supermiddle title on the undercard against Top Ranks future Mexican megastar, 24 year old , Gilberto Zurdo Ramirez, 33-0, 24 KO. Abraham is short, but very strong and well tested at 5-9, whereas Ramirez is very tall at 6-3, an untested, rangy southpaw. Big step up for the kid, but he has all the suits and fans in his corner against the German based Armenian who used to inflame the typical US xenophobic hatreds that foreigners Lucien Bute, Manny, Canelo, and the Klitschko brothers also endured. This could be the best fight of the night if the kid can handle himself.
A featured part of this promotion was a name coined by Arum, his “No Trump Undercard,” a political shot across the Republican bow featuring a host of future Latino boxing stars. Even worse, days before the fight a deranged man attacked Manny in an underground garage. Foiled by Manny’s small security team, he heaped an avalanche of the foulest profanities on Manny, presumably upset over his gay remarks. Could have caused a terrible international incident had the nut a knife or gun, no doubt sadly whipped up by the tabloid press in an unstable time in this country.
Of course I still think Manny beats Bradley, I can’t help it even as the Typhoon has calmed down to the last few days of a Monsoon. It’s buried deep in his genetic code, he can’t help it, but I do wish Tim the very best fight he can muster up. Win, lose, or draw, these guys make no bones about teeing it up in the ring which what boxing needs to start rehabilitating the sport. Then they could settle the half billion dollar lawsuits and design a better model starting with their commishes, the scoring and refereeing to go with more reasonable drug testing consistency…nah, ain’t happening anytime soon…only in boxing…