Pacquiao vs Bradley 2: Legions Jettisoned

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"Springtime is a Time to Spring - Part II" Boxing has become much of a fringe event to many sports fans but its overall effect on the sporting psyche cannot be ignored.

How often do we hear a big matchup in football, basketball or other pastimes likened to a title fight?

Announcers constantly pair two respective teams as fighters from opposite corners and let the starting lineup go through as the tale of the tape.

That being said and all things considered, the Sweet Science is likely one of the most unique in terms of rivalries established and the need for settling the wrongs; and sometimes the rights. Certain sides can't get past their sporting nemesis and it's usually more a matter of will power that helps the victors prevail.

Boxing is different and anyone who truly believes that Timothy "Desert Storm” Bradley was the rightful winner over Manny Pacquiao in June 2012 should be among the first in line for a time warp back to 1967 and The Summer of Love.

Such was a time when life with a tab of acid under their respective tongues was more generally accepted. Bradley's win was met with almost universal disdain and disbelief across the sporting world in general and the need for a rematch didn’t exactly beckon for some, as most observers saw the fight as a wash in Pacquiao’s favor.

Not many can argue that the Palm Springs, California fighter left his ring mettle in an unaccomplished position. His hard fought total of twenty four round wars with Ruslan Provodnikov (UD 12) and Juan Manuel Marquez (SD 12) in March and October 2013, respectively brought redemption to Bradley’s resume in terms of his toughness and willingness to cut his teeth within the squared circle.

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However, there are still questions to be answered and the biggest one may be indeed if Manny Pacquiao has the fire left within him to reverse the sentiments of June 2012.

He’ll get his chance in a bit more than a week’s time, as the rematch between he and Bradley has been set for next Saturday April 12 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

The ongoing trend from the Bradley camp is that the “Pac Man” has lost his competitive fire and any willingness to relentlessly thrash his opponent. Such was the norm during Manny’s seven year, fifteen fight unbeaten run which was abruptly halted by Tim Bradley. Scratch that and make it Duane Ford and C.J. “Bye Bye Birdie” Ross.

It could very well have been the case that Pacquiao chose not to maul through Bradley or perhaps that he simply was unable to do so.

Justice is sometimes too raw or rotten to serve and fighters can’t always complain when three ringside observers pick up where they left off.

Championship bouts allow more than half an hour of ring time to settle matters. Time runs out on some and decisions must be made, even as inexplicable as some may be.

Nevertheless, Tim remains content as a cinder block on his stance that he was the correct man to have had his hand raised that hot summer night in 2012, Pacquiao remains as humble as ever. It’s refreshing but some fans aren’t buying it.


A quick examination of ticket sales and availability will likely astound even the most ardent boxing fan. Granted, tickets to just about anything north of a breakfast buffet in Las Vegas ain’t cheap by any means, yet this has not stopped fans in the past. The hypothesis may be that the legions of Asia remain while the casual fan has begun to look elsewhere.

All the guy had to do was lose two fights in a row (while many thought he was undefeated) and the shifty Sammies and fickle Franks went along the wayside, as did Nike.


Manny used to have an eagerly awaited shoe and clothing line release to coincide with an upcoming bout. Not anymore or at least not right now.

Either way, take a look, there are available seats at almost every price point for next Saturday’s bout. Face value is taken to face validity.

Why has this happened?

Granted, the situation may change as the bout draws closer, yet the man who all of us have had at one time or another wanted to see square off with Pacquiao has a bout in the same venue next month.

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The layout on the nation’s top ticket site (no plugs here) shows two different schematics in terms of available seats. The other guy’s looks like the face of a runway model. Manny’s looks like Howdy Doody.

It’s just a bit shocking and hopefully it’s only temporary.


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