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article imageOp-Ed: Manny Pacquiao must beat Timothy Bradley to ensure his legacy

By William Charles Baker     Jun 8, 2012 in Sports
Las Vegas - They say Bradley vs Pacquiao is a dangerous fight for both men. Bradley risks being exposed as a scrapper in with the best rated P4P fighter in the world. Pacquiao risks his legacy should he lose to an opponent known more for heart and head than skills.
Maybe they have become too confident as match makers sometimes do that a smaller less recognized opponent will not upset the long range plans of the mega fight the world has been waiting for. It has come so far that the desire to see Floyd Mayweather in the ring is topic for conversation between many readers that know little about boxing.
The journey has moved from man against man, to national hero against jailed superstar. The new and hopefully final phase being political comments and stands on gay versus straight relationships. In the new Manny Pacquiao there is the spiritual and religious reformation that they say has changed his life. reports: “For now, Manny Pacquiao will be defending his title against Bradley this Saturday. Victory is important for Pacquiao in this event, as he needs to prove that he still has enough to take on dangerous fighters like Bradley. Earlier this week, Pacquiao admitted that Bradley is a dangerous fighter but said that he will be ready to face whatever Bradley has to offer in the ring. When asked for a prediction, Pacquiao said that it is in the hands of God to decide who will be the winner. Pacquiao’s religious u-turn in life has already gotten his promoter Bob Arum and coach Freddie Roach worried about his performance on Saturday.”
The question now becomes which Pacquiao will we see in the ring and will it make a difference when the bell sounds? Originally the expectations were for a more realistic match between Timothy Bradley and Amir Khan but Lamont Peterson and overzealous match making allowed a Peterson win. The folly of it all was the repudiation of the decision with Peterson failing a mandatory drug test for the rematch.
If the Bradley wait was for a bigger payday the Khan loss opened the gates for his biggest payday and with apparently little fear he has marched in ready to do battle. The wisdom of his decision will happen swiftly if Bradley is not careful.
Anything can happen when two men enter the ring. Khan vs Peterson only proves this once again. The rules are sometimes as shaky as the interpretation. A headbutt accidental or not can change the course of history. We know this but yet they made the match with Bradley with this in mind.
The WashingtonTimes reports: “A Bradley victory would create a major uproar on many levels and it would create the absolute need for a rematch this fall before any “fight of the century” could take place. But the bigger issue is what the pay-per-view numbers are for this fight, a bigger issue than the actual outcome.”
A lot of fans are not too sure about Timothy Bradley. He has labored in the Light Welterweight division with an unbeaten record but with two noteworthy events. His lack luster win over Devon Alexander and stripping of his title for refusing to fight Amir Khan. The reasons continue to circulate but there can be no doubt that if he beats Pacquiao it will kill perhaps the biggest match of the century.
It is only money if you have a lot of it already but if either man loses before they meet each other they will lose something else their legacy. Mayweather has stepped out and fought one considered dangerous opponent as he waits for the demands to be met that he has stated. That opponent was Miguel Cotto and I am not sure what Mayweather wants to make the Pacquiao fight.
We have heard that blood tests and percentages were involved and perfect records and promoters that are identified as villains. The only thing that matters now to every fan and observer that wants to see this fight is that it is just the details. If Timothy Bradley wins on June 9 in Las Vegas the Pacquiao legacy will be damaged and a super fight lost in the game of edging toward bigger paydays and bragging rights for everybody involved.
Especially since the book is still open on Timothy Bradley and what will happen when he fights an aggressive hard punching legend in Manny Pacquiao that has everything to lose should he be defeated.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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