By Charles Jay
This is what I was about to file late Saturday night, and as they say, it’s my story, and I’m sticking to it:
From this perspective, it took Manny Pacquiao about two minutes of the first round to figure out what he had in front of him on Saturday night.
Photo: Chris Farina/ Top Rank
From that point forward, it was just another day at the office.
Forty-six minutes later, it was clear that the “Storm” had little if any answer for the “swarm.”
For the most part, Pacquiao stayed a beat ahead of his opponent, landing the vast majority of the clean shots, and Bradley, who appeared befuddled at times, never got an offensive attack going that would lead anyone to believe he could turn around a big early deficit.
Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, who is being inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame on Sunday, had suggested that Bradley didn’t have enough talent to win even one round against his charge, and he was almost right, as Bradley captured two rounds at the most.
Bradley, who came into the bout with a 28-0 record, looked like one of those guys who used to travel out of the Midwest, and still do, to some extent, with an unbeaten record that dressed up fight posters very nicely, only to pose no real danger to the hometown hero.
Make no mistake; Bradley fit that bill nicely. He posed no real danger.
It was at the point where those who were calling the fight on television were trying to find something to admire, so they talked about his “determination,” which was their way of saying that he didn’t really match up, but he wasn’t giving up either.
No, Bradley didn’t give up, but by the same token he looked like he’d be quite content to just get twelve full rounds in, cash the multi-million-dollar check, and be able to keep all that cool Nike gear a little longer.
Pacquiao figured out early on that this was not a guy who was going to hurt him, so he came in and darted out without a whole heck of a lot of fear of reprisal. One way you can force a guy to change his game plan is to crack him pretty hard and make him think twice about it. Bradley didn’t have that in him, so Pacquiao only had to think once.
As we forecast in previous stories, Bradley slapped, threw wide punches, and had difficulty with a style he’d never come close to encountering before. No one will win by slapping Manny Pacquiao.
Pacquiao’s effort could best be described as “workmanlike,” and there appeared to be some redemption after an effort against Juan Manuel Marquez that some observers felt was substandard. The Compubox numbers are not always a reliable barometer for how a fight really went, but in this case they were, as they saw Pacquiao landing far more power shots and for a higher percentage.
Bradley went to school on Saturday, and perhaps he’ll be a better fighter for it, though the inability to throw caution to the winds is something that will continue to plague him against upper-echelon foes.
At the final bell, it was time for PacBackers to think about the possibilities, which included a fourth fight against Marquez, which would probably be well-received, and there will certainly be one more run taken at the Big One, which is the fight with Floyd Mayweather. Roach was set to board a private plane to Canastota, NY to receive his lifetime honor, along with ring announcer Michael Buffer and some other boxing luminaries, including Thomas Hearns, who may have been a hell of a welterweight matchup with Pacquiao in his time.
The announcement of the official scores was just a formality…….