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Home Boxing BRADLEY STILL WORTHY OF RESPECT
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BRADLEY STILL WORTHY OF RESPECT

 

timothy-bradleyManny Pacquiao thoroughly outboxed and outfought Timothy Bradley last Saturday night.  It's actually the second time he has done so, in almost exactly the same way.  Where they go from here is more a prediction of egos and business politics than logic.  Pacquiao will likely take a 5th fight with Marquez, should the latter defeat Alvarado, while Bradley will be left to rebuild.  Many things have become clear after watching this match.
 
1) Pacquiao is still a notch above the rest.
Except Mayweather, he would be favored against most, and is still a top 5 P4P fighter.  Andre Ward deserves his number 2 spot, but after Bradley has twice been dominated, I think we can agree that Marquez simply has the correct style to trouble Pacquiao, but is not better than he (much like Fullmer over Robinson, or Norton over Ali).
 
2) Bradley's leg injuries are a result of Pacquiao's attack, nothing more.
For a man who has never injured anything below the waist in a match before, to suffer 3 leg injuries against one man in 24 rounds... it's clear that while Bradley's defense against Pacquiao is underrated, the positions he has to put himself in to avoid punches is what is causing his leg, ankle, calf, foot, etc to hurt.
 
3) Pacquaio is aging, but that still leaves a lot of room
A diminished Pacquiao is still a dangerous Pacquiao.  The fire looked to be back, and he mixed it well with intelligence.  Bradley is someone who can embarrass you if you come after him too hard, so Manny found a good balance between sustained attack and mindful defense.  We may be done seeing highlight reel KO's, but he has shown he can entertain without them, and definitely win without them.
 
4) Bradley still deserves our respect
Not only was he graceful in defeat, he is everything right with boxing.  The fact that he is hated shows the ignorance and group-think many fans succumb to.  Granted, it was annoying to hear him claim he deserved the first decision, but the judges were certainly not his fault.  He is a clean cut family man, who fights without the aid of PED's, works hard, and shows respect to his opponents and the sport as a whole.  Not to mention he also sometimes brawls to please the fans, even though he is not a puncher.  Can you name another top light-hitting fighter who does that?

Chris Strait
www.convictedartist.com

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