Bradley fight showed 'evolution' of Pacquiao

By Camille B. Naredo,

Posted at Apr 14 2014 05:23 PM | Updated as of Apr 15 2014 01:23 AM

Manny Pacquiao (R) of the Philippines hits undefeated WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley of the U.S. with a right during their title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada April 13, 2014 (Manila time). Photo by Steve Marcus, Reuters.

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino boxing analyst Atty. Ed Tolentino was very impressed with Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao’s showing against American boxer Timothy Bradley Jr., calling it a “brilliant performance.”

Tolentino noted that Pacquiao used angles masterfully, kept Bradley off-balance with his footwork and showed flashes of the punching power that once laid waste to his opponents.

Although he did not knock out the American, Pacquiao made sure there would be no controversy this time as he won a wide unanimous decision that allowed the Filipino to avenge his controversial June 2012 loss to Bradley and regain the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight championship.

“I expected the win,” Tolentino said on Monday’s “Headstart.” “In the first place, many thought that Pacquiao defeated Bradley the first time they fought in June 2012.”

“He won this fight convincingly and I’m impressed. If there’s one word that I can use, it’s ‘brilliant.’ Brilliant performance by Manny Pacquiao,” he added.

Tolentino said Pacquiao’s performance saw the successful integration of the “old Pacquiao” – the come-forward, aggressive brawler – and the “new Pacquiao,” a more technically sound, scientific boxer.

“Ang nakita natin dito ay ang integration ng dating Pacquiao sa bagong Pacquiao,” said Tolentino. “Nakita natin ‘yung little bit of the old Pacquiao, a little bit of the new Pacquiao.”

“Ang evolution ni Manny Pacquiao, ng kanyang boxing career – from caveman to Einstein – ang nakita natin sa laban na ito. Mixed together, ang ganda ng naging resulta para kay Manny Pacquiao,” he added.

Tolentino said fight fans still saw “at least 70%” of the vintage Pacquiao, especially in the seventh and eighth rounds when the “Pacman” simply showered Bradley with punches while the American was pinned against the ropes.

“You saw the power,” noted Tolentino. “We wanted to see that kind of killer instinct. By that time, Bradley was more on the retreat and trying to avoid the ignominy of becoming a knockout victim.”

Pacquiao’s maturity and discipline were also on full display, as he refused to take the bait even when Bradley deliberately dropped his guard and dared the “Pacman” to hit him on the chin, he said.

“He (Bradley) wanted Pacquiao to make the same mistake he did against Juan Manuel Marquez,” said Tolentino, referring to Pacquiao’s brutal knockout loss to the Mexican Marquez in December 2012, which saw the Filipino get stopped with just a second to go in the sixth round.

“But Pacquiao was so disciplined. Pacquiao did not take a bait,” said Tolentino. “(Bradley) dropped his guard, showed his chin. He wanted to catch Pacquiao with a counter-punch, but Pacquiao refused to take a bait, because he knew that if he did, it would have been a disastrous one.”

“He did not take the bait. He decided to stick to his battle plan of coming in and out, in and out, side-stepping any counter-punches from Tim Bradley,” he added.

“This is the Einstein.”

Tolentino noted that kind of movement and discipline was something that fans “never saw in the old Pacquiao.”

“The old Pacquiao was more like a barbarian. The old Pacquiao would rush in, crash the door, take you head on, and bully you all over the ring,” he said. “This is a Pacquiao who is a thinking boxer right now.”