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Head to head: a comprehensive preview of Pacquiao-Bradley 2

Keep panchin'
Keep panchin'
Photo by Jeoffrey Maitem/Getty Images


STRENGTHS: Athleticism, hand speed, conditioning. In his physical prime. Durable chin, reliable jab, quick footwork. Rugged, unorthodox offense. Can box or slug it out. Gained world class experience over the past two years. Confidence and strong will to win.

WEAKNESSES: Lacks one-punch power. Defensive lapses and tendency to throw wide, looping punches. Can get lured into brawls that could leave him open. Has been hurt by good punchers.

KEYS TO VICTORY: Circle to Pacquao's right. Throw with bad intentions early to test Pacquiao's chin and to make him hesitate. Always throw something in return and do not allow Pacquiao to get off with his signature flurries. Don't let Pacquiao find his rhythm. Be willing to trade without getting reckless. Go to the body. Use the jab often.


STRENGTHS: Elite speed. Southpaw stance. Powerful left. Combinations from all angles, dizzying footwork. Underrated defense. Can brawl or box from the outside. Looked rejuvenated and was virtually untouchable against Brandon Rios, showing no ill effects from KO loss to Marquez. Willpower.

WEAKNESSES: Vulnerable chin. Past his prime at age 35 and could get old overnight. Can no longer sustain a high work rate for 12 full rounds. Susceptible to counter punching. May have lost killer instinct. At this stage of his career, reflexes are a question mark against a speedy fighter like Bradley.

KEYS TO VICTORY: Must start fast and always get off first. Learn to move to the right. Sustained and controlled aggression. Don't be tentative. Do not follow Bradley around. Press forward and apply constant pressure without getting careless. Must keep Bradley on the defensive and not allow him to gain confidence. Straight lefts to the body, utilize a strong, penetrating jab.


Since facing each other, both fighters have had two bouts against considerably slower opposition. Both Bradley and Pacquiao are looking at a significant step up in their opponent's speed, and a huge advantage goes to the fighter who is better able to adjust to the other's quickness.

Like it or not, due to the scoring travesty of their first fight, judges may be inclined to give Pacquiao all the close rounds and conceivably even some that may belong to Bradley if he doesn't win them convincingly enough. Bradley realizes this and will try to hurt Pacquiao and go for a stoppage.

Pacquiao fancies himself a refined brawler who can box with the best of them, but he knows that he cannot be anything else but the bull in this fight. Pacquiao will charge at Bradley from the opening bell. Bradley will try to fight fire with fire but after a few exchanges, Pacquiao's power and accuracy will make Bradley think twice before engaging again.

Pacquiao will conserve his energy by taking a breather whenever Bradley is taking his. During the moments Bradley is feeling inspired to go on the offensive, Pacquiao will fight harder. There is always a chance of Bradley landing a home run punch ala Marquez and Pacquiao's chin is certainly a liability.

But until that happens (if that happens), expect Pacquiao to be more assertive and more dominant this time around. Don't be surprised to see Bradley taste the canvas at least once. He is not a quitter and will keep on fighting until the referee pulls Pacquiao off of him, perhaps even a bit prematurely. Bradley may not necessarily be "ripe for the taking," but he can be and has been hurt in previous fights; Pacquiao is the man who can finish the job once Bradley gets hurt. Pacquiao wins by TKO by the 10th round.

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