For more than three years Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. have engaged in a tension-filled match-beyond-the-match in which each had to hold serve to preserve this decade's "The Fight of the Century." The stakes couldn't have been higher, for one slip-up by either and the projected $150 million purse split goes up in smoke.
Mayweather struggled at times against Miguel Cotto last month, but a stirring stretch drive helped preserve his much-cited perfect record and placed the onus squarely on Pacquiao. On Saturday "The Pac Man" will face the undefeated Timothy Bradley in a bout whose significance goes far beyond his fourth defense of the WBO welterweight title he won from Cotto two-and-a-half years ago. It's his chance to regain the edge in his head-to-head race with the man called "Money" in terms of pay-per-view numbers, bargaining position and conventional wisdom -- all of which Mayweather has led as of late.
Will "Typhoon Manny" blow past "Desert Storm" or will General Bradley engineer an upset that will change the course of history? Pacquiao is nearly a 4-1 favorite. Their respective CompuBox histories offer the following food for thought: