Timothy Bradley of the U.S. winds up to throw a right at Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines during their title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo by Steve Marcus, Reuters.
MANILA, Philippines – Former HBO color commentator Larry Merchant said Manny Pacquiao's key in defeating the erstwhile unbeaten Timothy Bradley was to pressure the American into a slugfest.
Merchant said he felt that Bradley was initially having success against Pacquiao with his hit-and-run style, but the American eventually abandoned his game plan and repeatedly went for a knockout punch.
“I thought that Pacquiao, with his speed and boxing ability, pressured Bradley into trying to get lucky. And good is usually better than lucky,” Merchants said in Hustle Boss.
“I have to assume it’s because he found out that Pacquiao was a little too quick and a little too good. I was perplexed by how he fought in the last half of the fight; just hoping to land a big punch.”
Bradley may have thought that he has enough punching power to topple the Filipino superstar when he tagged Pacquiao with a counter right hand in the fourth. Although that hit shook Pacquiao’s legs for a while, the fighting congressman eventually recovered.
Merchant, who now works with Top Rank Inc., believes it would have been better for Bradley to use the same game plan he implemented in his victory against Juan Manuel Marquez.
“I don’t know why Bradley didn’t stick to the same kind of boxing plan he had successfully against Marquez, but he didn’t,” he explained.
Merchant said Bradley may have found out that the Filipino dynamo is just too fast for him.
“I have to assume it’s because he found out that Pacquiao was a little too quick and a little too good. I was perplexed by how he fought in the last half of the fight; just hoping to land a big punch,” he said.
“I don’t know what caused that exactly,” said Merchant. “But I always think there is cause and effect in a fight and if he was reduced to just trying to get lucky there must have been a good reason for it and the good reason must have been Pacquiao.”