Convicted Artist Magazine

May 25th
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manny-pacquiao-vs-timothy-bradleyManny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley
Let's just get the big one out of the way now.  I started off saying that Cotto was a mismatch for Mayweather, and Bradley was a tough fight for Pacquiao.  More and more it is going to look like I don't know what I am talking about.  Cotto ended up going all 12, and winning 3 or 4 rounds, to give Mayweather his toughest fight since De la Hoya.  However, the more I analyze Bradley vs. Pacquiao, I am beginning to see why Bob Arum allowed this fight.  Bradley is not so much light-hitting as he is simply not a finisher.  Add to that Pacquiao's incredible recuperative powers, and Bradley is not a danger to stop Manny.  Bradley employs effective agression, and comes in behind good body work, combinations, and yes, a dangerous head.  Pacquiao, however, seems to have the answer for every problem Bradley presents.  A distance counterpuncher with good defense is what bothers Manny Pacquiao, not the style of Bradley.

While the Californian reacted very well when dropped against Kendall Holt, he was also the more effective fighter in that fight, and was aware that he simply walked into a great shot.  Pacquiao hits men, and they change.  It is hard to imagine Bradley giving up, and maybe that is what Arum is seeing.  A Donny Lalonde to Pacquiao's Leonard.  Someone who is big and strong enough to give Manny a great fight, and keep coming... but who has shown a chin question, and does not possess single shot KO power.  Bradley may provide tense moments, but will figure to get hit a lot harder and more often than he did against Holt.  Also Manny's upper body movement will make it hard to Bradley's head to find its target.  Plus, the power Bradley feels may make him think twice about exposing his head in the first place.  I pick Manny by 9th round KO.

Lateef Kayode vs. Antonio Tarver
By the time Tarver gets a chance to clean things up at Cruiserweight, he could be well into his mid-forties.  That division is so weak now, however, that it is entirely doable.  At the very least, with discussions already going on between Tarver and Steve Cunningham, the Magic Man at least could be reigniting the division on these shores.  There is still BJ Flores, and while Denis Lebedev was beating up old Americans in Jones and Toney, but has been smart enough to steer clear of Tarver after how good The Floridian looked against Danny Green.  Wlodarczyk is a protected joke, but if Palacios gets by him, then Don King will have two cruiserweight belts, and maybe Tarver could start up a tournament.  Florida may be the center of 200lbs once again.  This all depends on Tarver getting by Lateef Kayode.

Kayode, however, is the one who has been living by the mantra "getting by".  The once big puncher had to settle for 3 straight 10-round decisions, and did not exactly look dominant in doing so.  The Showtime commentator Tarver's critique is actually what led to this interesting match-up.  Kayode is mandatory for WBA champ Guillermo Jones, but considering that Guillermo Jones is repped by Don King, and thus fights about as often as he renews his drivers license, Tarver was looking like a better option.  Kayode's power seems to be lacking an efficient delivery system at the higher levels, and Traver is not a fighter you stop anyway.  I believe just on sound fundamentals, we are in for a 12-round boxing lesson.  Tarver by wide UD.

Chris Strait

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