By Kieran Mulvaney
Who better to analyze a fight than a fighter? How about two fighters? We asked two of the best – Roy Jones, Jr. and Amir Khan – for their take on tonight’s meeting between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley.
Roy Jones, Jr.
The biggest key is you have to watch out for the head butts. When an orthodox fighter and a southpaw fighter meet, what happens? We get a clash of heads. So we’ve got a guy who has an enormous amount of head butt issues with other right-handers; now he’s fighting a left-hander, so what else can we expect? We have to figure out how these two guys have a formidable fight, a real good fight, minus the head issues. That’s going to be the key.
Pacquiao’s probably the better boxer. And he’s certainly the quicker fighter and the more powerful fighter. Timothy Bradley is the more durable fighter. So you’ve got an early horse and a late horse. It all depends which horse prevails and which horse gets the race in his favor. Early, I think it’s Pacquiao. Late, I think it’s Bradley. So we’ll see.
Bradley has to get inside and rough him up. He has to. It’s his only chance. If he stays outside, Pacquiao will pick him apart. Bradley’s not as fast, and he’s not as mobile.
I like Pacquiao early, I like Bradley late. If Bradley can withstand Pacquiao’s onslaught, it can be a tough fight for Manny.
It’s going to be a hard fight. I’ve seen Bradley train hard on 24/7. He looks in great shape. Bradley was a guy we tried to fight twice, and he turned me down twice. His excuse now is that he was waiting for a Pacquiao fight. Still, he could have fought me in between if he really thought he could beat me.
This will be a good fight tonight. It will be explosive. They’re both hungry. Manny Pacquiao doesn’t want to lose his pound-for-pound title, and I’m sure Bradley doesn’t want to lose his undefeated record. That’s what makes this fight interesting.
They have to work hard, not let up and not let the crowd get to them. There are thousands of people watching you, millions watching around the world. Bradley seems strong in the spotlight, but it always hits a fighter when it’s the day of the fight. This is the time where he will be nervous when he’s in his room, thinking, ‘The time’s come now. This is the biggest fight of my career.’ He will be nervous, because it is the biggest fight of his life.