Pacquiao vs. Bradley: What Bradley Must Do to Pull off Big Upset of Pac-Man

Josh MartinNBA Lead WriterMay 24, 2012

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 21:  Timothy Bradley speaks at a press conference announcing his upcoming World Boxing Organization welterweight championship fight against  Manny Pacquiao at The Beverly Hills Hotel on February 21, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Manny Pacquiao may be one of the two best pound-for-pound fighters in the world (next to Floyd Mayweather, Jr.) and may be undefeated in his last 15 fights, but that doesn't necessarily mean he's destined to take down Timothy Bradley, much less dominate him, when they meet at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on June 9.

Some in the boxing world, most notably Hall-of-Fame trainer and Pac-Man confidant Freddie Roach, have compared Bradley to Ricky Hatton, the brawling Brit against whom Pacquiao scored a second-round knockout three years ago.

But Bradley is no Hatton; he's better.

For one, "Desert Storm" sports a much stronger chin than The Hitman, which should allow him to survive Pacquiao's fists of fury just a bit longer than his English compeer, to say the least.

More importantly, Bradley's speed, smarts and unorthodox style should help him steer clear of Manny's lightning-quick fists more than a slower, more deliberate fighter like Hatton. He's much more of a boxer than Hatton.

And while Bradley may not be a defensive mastermind on par with Mayweather or Juan Manuel Marquez, he's certainly capable of making Manny miss, so long as he opts not to fight in a straight line and avoids getting caught on the inside.

Even then, it's entirely possible Pacquiao's punches will be too strong to withstand for 12 rounds, or they will be too numerous to give Bradley any traction with the judges, should the fight go the distance.

That being said, Bradley is good enough and young enough—he's five years Manny's junior—to give Pacquiao a difficult fight. What's more, he'll be fighting with an extra chip on his shoulder from all the critics who condemned him for passing on Amir Khan.

This is all on top of the typical throngs who doubt Bradley's ability to win.

Whether that's enough to push Bradley over the top remains to be seen. But if Bradley plays to his strengths and doesn't get caught in a brawl, there's no reason to think he might just walk away with the biggest win of his career.