Pacquiao, Bradley make weight
MANILA, Philippines – Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley easily made weight for their 12-round welterweight title clash scheduled on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) in Las Vegas, Nevada.
During the official weigh-in on the eve of the fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champion Pacquiao came in at 147 pounds.
|Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao (L) and U.S. boxer Timothy Bradley Jr. face off during an official weigh-in at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada June 8, 2012. Pacquiao will defend his WBO welterweight title against the undefeated Bradley at the arena on June 9. REUTERS/Steve Marcus
Bradley, who usually campaigns in the junior welterweight division, weighed 146 pounds.
The welterweight limit is 147 pounds.
Reporting from Las Vegas, ABS-CBN's Dyan Castillejo described the weigh in as "a standing room only" with most fans cheering for the Pinoy boxing icon.
“Nung lumabas sina Pacquiao at Bradley nagpormahan. Nag-face-off sila, talagang lumapit ng husto si Bradley sa mukha ni Manny at ginagalaw ang nguso niya para talagang inaasar si Manny pero si Manny hindi talaga naasar, kalmado lang, may konting smile pa,” Castillejo said.
Pacquiao is scheduled to give several television interviews after the weigh-in.
As of Thursday, odds makers heavily favored the fighting congressman over the unbeaten American.
A $450 bet on Pacquiao would only win $100, while a $100 bet on Bradley would give a bettor $350.
Primed for fall?
Bradley said the Filipino ring icon is primed for a fall when they meet on the ring
"He's worn out, tired, I can see it in his eyes, the wrinkles," said Bradley, a 5-1 underdog despite his unbeaten record of 28-0 with 12 knockouts. "This boy's not ready for me."
While Pacquiao is the favorite, he has, indeed, been doubted by pundits who point to his unconvincing majority decision over Juan Manuel Marquez in November, along with such signs of weakness as debilitating leg cramps in his more recent fights.
"I'm ready for war," Bradley declared after the weigh-in in front of a pro-Pacquiao crowd. "Don't matter getting booed. None of these people are going to be in the ring. It's going to be me and Manny at the end of the night. I'm set out to prove everybody wrong."
No more marital strife, religion
Pacquiao -- who has won titles in eight weight classes and boasts a record of 54-3 with two draws and 38 knockouts -- has said his preparations for his last Marquez fight were hampered by marital strife, a thing of the past now that he has re-dedicated himself to God and spends his time in Bible study rather than gambling, drinking and womanizing.
"They're as happy as can be," trainer Freddie Roach said Thursday of Pacquiao and his wife, Jinkee. "He's in a much better place than he was before his last fight."
While promoter Bob Arum has characterized Pacquiao's life as "careening off the rails" prior to his spiritual re-awakening, Roach seemed to think things weren't that bad.
"He just got caught up in the limelight a little bit," Roach said. "He took a step back and looked at his life and didn't like it -- and he changed."
Roach said the change has carried over into the gym, but Bradley sounded a skeptical note this week.
"He's here, he's there, he's fornicating and now he's got his religion in place," Bradley said. "I don't have to throw religion in people's face."
Whatever the truth of Pacquiao's spiritual quest and its impact on his physical abilities, Bradley's trainer, Joel Diaz, said Saturday's fight will come down to ring skills, pure and simple.
Diaz said that's what will give his fighter a chance in what Bradley has acknowledged is the biggest bout of his life.
One-dimensional vs quickness?
"Manny is a one-dimensional fighter," Diaz claimed. "He unloads a lot of punches, but he's reckless.
"He doesn't focus on his defense. You can counter-punch him all night long. And Timothy's a brawler who can move his feet and be smart enough to make any changes he needs to in there."
Roach said Bradley isn't a slick counter-puncher and won't be able to match Pacquiao's quickness.
"He's the same fighter he was as an amateur," Roach said of Bradley. "He makes the same mistakes. We're going to take advantage of them." With Agence France-Presse
Visit our Pacquiao Punch microsite for Pacquiao-Bradley fight round-by-round updates via chat, 10 a.m. Sunday.