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Published on Jun 9, 2012
The biggest combat sports event this month approaches, and Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley are set to enter the ring in just a few short hours.
On yesterday's weigh-ins, a chiseled Bradley tipped the scales at 146 lbs. Pacquiao, on the other hand, weighed in at the welterweight limit of 147 lbs. It's the heaviest he's been in his entire career, leading to a few questions of Manny possibly being "out of shape". The Filipino has been an overwhelming favorite in most books, but will this affect people's judgements in the last minute?
Are people looking too much in to it? Will it affect the fight? We'll see for sure come fight time, but in the mean time, here are some predictions from analysts in combat sports:
Scott Christ, Bad Left Hook: I do think Timothy Bradley can win this fight, but let's put it this way: Everything has to go exactly right for him, and a lot of stuff has to go wrong for Manny Pacquiao. Timothy Bradley can beat Manny if Manny is truly distracted, truly not 100% in it anymore -- hell, he'd have to be about 80% in it, in my estimation, for Bradley to have the chance to do enough things right to get this win.
I am certain that Timothy Bradley cannot stop Manny Pacquiao. That means he's going to have to do something really impressive. He's going to have to back him down. Hurt him. Out-quick him. Out-box him thoroughly -- and I mean thoroughly. He has to be better than he's ever been, and by a pretty fair amount.
Is Timothy Bradley great, or just very good? Are we asking too much of Timothy Bradley if we ask him to win this fight? Is it simply beyond his ability as a fighter?
...When you match good fighters against good fighters, someone has to lose. When you match good fighters with great fighters, guess who usually loses? My money is on Bradley not being great. Of course, I've been wrong a few times before. I'm sticking with it though: Pacquiao by unanimous decision, this time with no real debate.