Merchant: Brave Bradley got too much credit


Posted at Jun 15 2012 09:51 PM | Updated as of Jun 17 2012 01:58 AM

MANILA, Philippines – HBO ring commentator Larry Merchant said Timothy Bradley was able to put up a brave front against Manny Pacquiao last Sunday.

But the boxing pundit said fights shouldn’t be won by bravery alone.

“I thought Pacquiao clearly won the fight. Maybe 8-4, 9-3 [rounds] I had it. I think Bradley got too much credit for a brave effort,” Merchant told Examiner.

The venerable commentator said Pacquiao dished out more punches than Bradley, especially during the opening and middle rounds.

Merchant said, in jest, that it seemed Bradley’s winning strategy was to be at the receiving end of Pacquiao’s punches.

“Bradley, in the middle of the fight, started to back off and decided he better just be a little bit more resourceful and defensive. It turned out to be a winning strategy to most everyone’s surprise, I think including Bradley,” he quipped.

Merchant believes that Pacquiao’s speed and power forced Bradley to rethink his strategy.

In the early rounds of the fight, Bradley was seen pressing the action until he was caught by several left hand leads from Pacquiao.

“Whatever ideas Bradley had that he was going to engage Pacquiao in some fashion, he was persuaded by Pacquiao’s left hand, that he better go to plan B,” Merchant said.

“I think he found out that once you’re in the ring with Pacquiao, it’s not like being in the ring with anyone else. Pacquiao’s sudden power, his quickness, made him change plans.”