By Jackie Kallen
Everyone has dreams at night, so I don’t usually pay attention to mine unless they are unusually interesting. In fact, I generally forget them by the time I wake up and start my day. But last night’s dream was a memorable one.
Photo: Chris Farina/ Top Rank
Most people know that I am a fan of Manny Pacquaio’s. I like the guy personally, as well as professionally. I admire the way he treats his fans, I respect his new-found spirituality, and I find him to be kind and friendly. As a boxer, he is one of the top 5 P4P fighters on anybody’s list.
Photo: Chris Farina/ Top Rank
OK, here’s how the dream went. As far as I can remember, I was at the sports book at the MGM and I was placing a bet on the fight. I don’t generally bet on fights, but this was a dream, so go figure. There was an old man sitting there with a pencil and paper and he was doodling and making all kinds of notes on a napkin.
“Hey, Missy,” he said as I sat down to decide on what bet to place. “You want a smart bet?”
Never one to overlook an opportunity, I said “Sure.”
“Bet Bradley,” he croaked in a shaky voice. “He’s a 4-1 underdog. If you like to bet on the individual rounds, pick him to win in round 1 or 12 and the odds are 100-1.”
“That’s a pretty crazy bet,” I told him.”
“So bet a draw. That pays 28-1.”
I sat there, deciding what to do. My brain tells me that Pacman is the favorite for a good reason. At 33, he has won his last 15 fights in a row and hasn’t lost in 7 years. He has won titles in eight weight classes and has earned more PPV money than anyone else. How do you bet against that?
On the other hand, 28 year old Bradley has never lost in 28 pro fights. He is skilled, hungry, and fearless. He may not have the overall talent that Manny has, and has faced much less talented competition, but stranger things have happened. An upset is certainly possible. So I put down $500 on Bradley to win.
As I am walking away, the old man touches my arm.
“What did you bet?” he asked.
I told him I bet Bradley to win.
“Do yourself a favor,” he urged me. “Go throw a few bucks on a draw. I have a feeling.”
So, not wanting to ignore the old guy, in case he was on to something, I put down $100 on a draw.
Next thing you know, it’s fight time and I am sitting ringside. The first three out of four rounds go to Bradley. He outboxes Manny and seems strong and determined. It’s 3-1 going into round five.
Manny picks up the pace and wins the next two rounds. Now it’s 3-3 as we go into the seventh round. Manny easily wins the seventh and Bradley steals the eighth. So far no knockdowns. It is 4-4.
I am getting mildly excited as the bell rings for the ninth round. Manny scores a knockdown in the 9th and gets the upper hand. Bradley comes back and wins the 10th round, but is down by a point.
The 11th round is almost over when Bradley hits Manny with a solid left hook to the body and Pacman goes down. Damn! It is only a flash knockdown, though, and he is back on his feet quickly.
The 12th round will be the determining factor. The pro-Manny crowd is on their feet chanting. The Bradley fans are shouting “Desert Storm.” It is toe-to-toe action as these two warriors duke it out. Both boxers get in some good combinations. Bradley has dug as deep as he could to turn out the best performance of his career.
Robert Byrd has done an excellent job of reffing the fight and both men hug in relief that the battle is over. Both raise their arms in victory and jump up on alternating corner posts. The crowd waits for the decision.
One judge has it 115-113 for Pacquaio. The second judge has it 115-113 for Bradley. The third judge has it 114-114–a draw! I hurry to the sports book to collect my $2,800.
When I woke up and relived the dream, I made a note to myself to place this bet for real when I land in Vegas. You just never know, right?
Jackie Kallen is a boxing manager who has been in the business for over three decades. Her life inspired the Meg Ryan film “Against the Ropes” and she was a part of the NBC series “The Contender.” www.JackieKallen.com, www.facebook.com/JackieKallen