Relive All the Action of Pacquiao-Bradley Fight Week

By Eric Raskin

Fight week is a steady build, with interviews, press conferences, and analysis on top of analysis leading toward the moment when the fighters touch gloves on Saturday. But something happens on Friday night where the steady build ends and the spike in excitement takes everything to the next level. Nowadays, the signifier that fight week is winding down and fight day is all but here is the airing of the final episode of 24/7. That’s the moment when it becomes real. The fighters are in place. The weigh-in is complete. The fight is officially on. Now we’re all just watching the clock, wishing the hands would turn a bit faster.

How will you pass the time in the final hours before Pacquiao-Bradley? How will you occupy your mind to take the edge off the anticipation? You can relive not just that final episode of 24/7, but the first, second, and third, as well. And you can celebrate everything that happened during fight week.

You can watch the fighters’ arrivals and hear what they had to say when they got to Vegas. You can look back at each man’s previous fight. You can focus on Pacquiao and what’s changed for him lately, or on getting to know Bradley. Or you can strike a balance and explore what’s at stake for each warrior, both the legendary Pacquiao and the undefeated Bradley.

If it’s strategic insight you crave, there’s no shortage of that. You can enjoy a visual breakdown. You can hear what legendary trainer and neutral observer Emanuel Steward has to say, or what legendary trainer and not-at-all neutral observer Freddie Roach has to say. You can go inside the mind of one of one of Pacquiao’s most famous knockout victims, Ricky Hatton. You can check out the CompuBox stats, or go one step farther and see what Inside HBO Boxing bloggers Eric Raskin and Kieran Mulvaney had to say about those stats. And if you think this one’s going to go the distance, you can step up your knowledge of how to score a fight right with Harold Lederman’s help.

And if it’s predictions you want, check out who the media tabbed to win when they gathered at the final press conference. Or read what the fans are saying, from those picking Pacquiao to those predicting the upset.

The clock keeps ticking, slowly but surely. Before you know it, the undercard will be underway. And then, finally Pacquiao and Bradley will step into the ring. Fight week will be over. It will be fight time.

Boxers Giving Back

Photo: Teddy Blackburn

Before facing off against each other, Andre Berto and Victor Ortiz spoke to a group of high school students Wednesday in a special event at The Armory on the Hudson in New York City. The two fighters addressed the value of staying in shape and the importance of dealing with family challenges before taking questions from the gathering of neighborhood kids. Last night, Berto joined a group of forty children, coaches, and parents from Middletown, Connecticut’s Champions of Life boxing program. "There is never a wrong time to give back and show support for adolescents who need it, even during fight week," Berto says. "The kids I met today want to be world champions, and I look forward to giving a championship effort and hopefully providing them inspiration to attain their dreams."

Khan-McCloskey/Berto-Ortiz: Overview

This weekend's World Championship Boxing event features some of the best up-and-coming fighters from around the world. Here's a quick look at the fights:

Amir Khan vs. Paul McCloskey:

The 24-year-old Khan is coming off an impressive unanimous decision victory over the hard-hitting Marcos Maidana in last year's BWAA Fight of the Year, which won him the WBA light welterweight belt. A star in his native England, Khan is making his first ever defense, on his home turf at the M.E.N. Arena in Manchester. In what Max Kellerman calls "a throwback fight," he's doing it against the European champion, the undefeated Paul McCloskey. Despite being a 6-1 underdog, the 31-year-old McCloskey is confident in his ability to throw Khan off his game. "My elusiveness, my speed and my lateral movement can give anybody nightmares," he says. "Anybody who shares the ring with me doesn't enjoy it."

Andre Berto vs. Victor Ortiz:

The 12-round main event takes place at the MGM Grand Arena in Foxwoods, pitting five-time defending champion Andre Berto against "Vicious" Victor Ortiz. The 27-year-old Berto's lightning-quick hands and unblemished record make him one of the best fighters in the stacked welterweight division. Victor Ortiz, three years his junior, is a promising young fighter whose only loss in the last five years came on the business end of a furious onslaught from Marcos Maidana. When asked how he thought this fight would play out, the usually talkative Ortiz had only this to say about Berto, "I'm going to knock him out."

Official Weigh-In: Gamboa vs. Solis

Atlantic City, NJ. Friday, Yuriorkis Gamboa weighed in at 126, while his opponent, Jorge Solis, tipped the scales at 125.5. On the undercard Mikey Garcia registered 125 and his opponent, Matt Remillard came in at 125.


Photo: Will Hart

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Photo: Will Hart

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Setting the Silverdome in Michigan for Alexander-Bradley

The Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan as it prepares for Saturday's title fight between junior welterweight champions Devon Alexander and Timothy Bradley. 

Photo by Will Hart

 

Khan Answers The Questions, Defeats Maidana

by Kieran Mulvaney

Two years and three months ago, Amir Khan's career seemed in tatters as he crumbled under the first round onslaught of unheralded Colombian Breidis Prescott. Even as he built an unbeaten career, there had always been questions about his chin, and the rapidity and totality of the Prescott loss seemed to confirm those questions with authority.

Photo: Ed Mulholland

Two years and three months later, Khan has answered those questions just as emphatically with a hard-won unanimous decision against Marcos Maidana.

Maidana entered Saturday's fight with 27 KOs in his 29 wins. He had recovered from three knockdowns to force Victor Ortiz into submission. The man can punch.

And he landed punches on Amir Khan, 156 of them in total, many thrown with the worst of intentions and landing with concussive power.

Early in the very first round, it looked as if the Mandalay Bay crowd may be about to witness Breidis Prescott redux, as Maidana's right hands hurt the WBA super lightweight champion. But it was Maidana who found himself on the canvas, courtesy of a crushing left hand to the body that had him wincing in agony.

But the challenger toughed it out, and again and again he tested Khan's chin, his heart, and his resolve. In the tenth round, he landed bomb after bomb that had Khan reeling around the ring. But the champion didn't go down, even though doing so voluntarily might have been a wise choice.

Instead, having withstood the worst crisis of his career since that night in September 2008, he survived the round, and the fight, and it was he, not Maidana, who was throwing punches at the final bell.

Amir Khan showed on Saturday night that he is more than a boxer. He proved what some had doubted, that he is also a fighter, and a damn good one.

And because of that, the last big fight of 2010 may also have been the best fight of 2010.

(For more coverage, go to HBO.com)