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article imageOp-Ed: Why Manny Pacquiao will dethrone Timothy Bradley on April 12

By Leo Reyes     Jan 26, 2014 in Sports
Manny Pacquiao will try make history in Timothy Bradley's storybook when they face each other in the ring in a rematch at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada if he can dethrone Bradley on April 12.
Pacquiao lost to Bradley in a highly controversial decision handed down by the judges of their first fight back in June 2012. Six months later, Pacquiao suffered his most devastating knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez of Mexico.
Reeling from his two straight losses, Pacquiao took a leave of absence and after almost a year he returned to the ring and engaged Mexican-American Brandon Rios in Macau, China.
Critics and observers say the Filipino star was not the same fighter they knew prior to his loss to Bradley and Marquez. Nonetheless, he was impressive when he fought Rios last Nov. 24. There were no knockdowns but he ran away with a unanimous verdict.
On April 12, Pacquiao will be facing a different Bradley, fresh from his two successive wins following his doubtful victory against the eight-division champion in 2012.
Wakee Salud, a long-time boxing analyst and promoter, said Pacquiao shouldn't take Bradley for granted as the Palm Springs star has vastly improved since 2012.
Salud noted that Bradley outpointed Marquez and survived a relentless assault by Ruslan Provodnikov, a former Pacquiao sparring partner.
“Bradley’s survival instincts is much, much better,” said Salud, noting that he was badly hurt and shaken with Provodnikov's power shots in their first encounter last year.
While it is true that Bradley has improved tremendously following his clash with Marquez and Provodnikov, Pacquiao has likewise made some improvements with visible changes on his fighting style.
The sad experience of having been "robbed " of his rightful victory over Bradley and the pain of being knocked out by Marquez with barely a second left in the sixth round of their fourth fight in 2012, must have taught Pacquiao the value of discipline in training and of being more cautious in the ring.
The kind of discipline that Pacquiao has shown during one of his longest and most demanding training camps in his 19-year professional career was evident when he put his mind and heart in the build up to the Rios fight.
Pacquiao has evidently matured as a person and as a fighter as shown in his ring dominance against Rios. He was visibly cautious even when there was an opportunity to go for a knockout as every fight fan would expect.
During the Rios fight, fans have noticed a more careful, matured and skillful Pacquiao as shown in the way he executes his corner's instructions.
His trainer Freddie Roach was one happy person after his victory over Rios, saying Pacquiao had done exactly what he and his coaching staff have wanted him to do round after round.
Worth noting was Pacquiao's use of angles to find the right position for a clear shot.
He was encircling Rios, moving right and left to execute off-guarded shots to gain points. He wasn't evidently looking for a KO and was happy piling up points. Read more
Bradley is banking on his ring experience with Pacquiao in their first encounter. He said he already know what to do on April 12.
"My thoughts going into this fight is that I really know Pacquiao now. I have been in the ring with him, so it won't be anything new. I know what I have to do," said Bradley.
But Pacquiao is definitely fired up to avenge his loss to Bradley, Aside from the opportunity to regain his old WBO welterweight belt, fans will also remember him for being the first boxer to break Bradley's 32-fight winning streak.
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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