By: Hans Themistode
Tim Bradley’s eyes grow wide whenever he hears about the possibility of Terence Crawford taking on Manny Pacquiao. The two have been rumored to be locked in negotiations for a possible June 5th showdown that would take place in Dubai.
In the mind of most boxing pundits, Crawford has the clear edge. The current WBO 147 pound belt holder is the consensus number one boxer in the world and is presumably smack dab in the middle of his prime. Pacquiao, on the other hand, is 42-years-old and hasn’t stepped into the ring since July of 2019 against Keith Thurman. In front of a mostly pro-Pacquiao crowd, the former eight-division world champion floored Thurman in the first round before squeaking a close but clear win.
Despite his success even at his advanced age, names such as promoter Bob Arum believe Crawford would not only win their contest decisively but also that he would ultimately knock Pacquiao out.
Having spent time in the ring with both men, Bradley isn’t ready to go that far.
“That’s a mean name,” said Bradley during a recent group interview on ESPN. “I been in the ring over 36 rounds with that guy (Pacquiao) and I been over a hundred rounds with Terence Crawford. This was earlier in Terence’s career and I understand he’s gotten a lot better from when I sparred him but those tendencies are still the same.”
Long before Crawford became the pound-for-pound star he is today, Bradley raved about the skills of the Nebraska native after several sparring sessions. In fact, Bradley has gone on record stating that Crawford would even defeat a prime Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Still, even with Bradley constantly singing his praises, he can spot several flaws in the game of Crawford and he knows good and well that Pacquiao would exploit them in the blink of an eye.
“Manny Pacquiao loves when guys pull back and that’s a problem. We also know that Terence Crawford gets hit early and he gets hit often early. Manny Pacquiao is a quick starter as well and he still has that blazing left hand that possesses a massive amount of punching power. Manny Pacquiao is a dangerous fight. I would slightly favor Terence Crawford but its a dangerous fight.”