Nothing much in the way of drama to look forward to in the Manny Pacquiao/Tim Bradley 3 weigh-in, one was thinking this fight week, being that Manny always weighs under the welterweight limit, and Tim Bradley is the sort of laser-focused professional that makes him the last person you'd pick to have a scale fail.
Indeed, on Friday afternoon in Las Vegas, the expected occurred, with Pacman weighing in at 145 1/2 pounds, and Bradley scaling in at 146 1/2 pounds, a day before they renew their acquaintance from their two previous tangoes, in June 2012 and April 2014.
The men stared down, no loathing evident or trash talking offered. New age, this, with massive dollars at stake and therefore these events feature less beefing than in decades before. Two businessmen are doing business, after all…
Manny Pacquiao spoke to Crystina Poncher and said he still feels he has something to prove, that he wants to entertain the fans. He's been off 11 months but his shoulders are fine, and he thinks this one will be the most exciting of the three, he said. Bradley spoke to Keiran Mulvaney, and he said he wants to show he's a pound for pound ace, and that he can get over the Pacman hump, without any controversy.
The first one was “won” by Bradley and it was among the most painful victories assigned to any sportsman. Analysts called the decision an abomination and declared that Bradley should sacrifice himself at the altar of fairness, renounce the win. He contemplated suicide as a result of the intensity of the blowback, the massiveness of the payday not being enough of a salve to a proud warrior who did nothing wrong, as the judges deserved the scorn.
Pacquiao got the W in the second tangle, with the Cali boxer performing less capably and looking not like the tiger who promised to stop the Filipino in that rematch. Which brings us to this third one…
It could be this one and done for Pacman, though most believe that all hinges on whether he wins a Senate seat. Yes, he wins, and he couldn't find the time for big platform prizefighting, no, he loses, and he'll go after more super fights, and try to lure Floyd Mayweather off the sidelines. But the vibe in this one is not the same…his halo is tarnished, after making rude anti-gay comments and after not disclosing a severe injury heading in to his Floyd Mayweather tangle. He will have fewer fans in the stands, and more will be yearning for a Bradley win.
Bradley looked ready to rumble, heck, he always does, and many folks feel he will be at his physical peak, being motivated by sports shrink Teddy Atlas, whose training style fixates on bringing his charge's brain into prime condition, as much as the body. He has gained fans with his candid admissions of his difficulties following the “win” against Manny, battling depression and the like. A win here brings him to an entirely new level of popularity.
Talk to me..what happens in this third face-off, Pacquiao and Bradley, at the MGM, in Las Vegas.
Founder/editor Michael Woods got addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the then-impregnable Mike Tyson.
The Brooklyn-based journalist has covered the sport since for ESPN The Magazine, ESPN.com, Bad Left Hook and RING. His journalism career started with NY Newsday in 1999.
Michael Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and for Facebook Fightnight Live, since 2017.